As he’s become a true football star over the last few months, Joe Burrow hasn’t shied away from discussing social causes. His Heisman speech was incredibly impactful, leading to a flood of donations to those in need in his hometown of Athens, Ohio. Today, Burrow addressed the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis this week.
On Monday, Floyd was pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer, who kept him on the ground with a knee to the neck. He died later on that day, following the incident. On Tuesday, video of the horrible event surfaced, and quickly spread around the internet. There have been significant protests and riots in the city in the days since the George Floyd video went public.
In the video, Floyd clearly says he could not breathe, and asks for help. Ultimately, his pleas went unanswered. The four officers present at the scene were fired, and this afternoon the one who knelt on Floyd’s neck was arrested and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.
A number of high-profile athletes have spoken out in the last few days including Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James, who have been outspoken for a long time on racial injustice. Joe Burrow is not yet established in the league, but sent a very poignant message this afternoon. “The black community needs our help,” he wrote. “They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.”
The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.
— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) May 29, 2020
After transferring from Ohio State, Joe Burrow quickly became a popular LSU Tiger and one of the team’s leaders. The Athletic recently detail how Burrow stood up for himself during a fight during a practice, and how it helped him earn the respect of his teammates.
He hasn’t generally been viewed as standoffish like other star quarterbacks can be at times, but he definitely has a fearlessness that makes him easy to root for. That extends off the field as well, in a spot like this where it would be easy for a rookie to say nothing, at the risk of alienating a portion of the fan base.