Floyd is the Minneapolis man who died in police custody on May 25 after an officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes in a moment caught on cellphone video. His death has since sparked nationwide protests against police brutality toward black Americans.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Cleveland Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, among others, said in the video they “will not be silenced” and will assert their right to peacefully protest.
They also asked the question: “What if I was George Floyd?”
“How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players?” Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said.
“What will it take?” Arizona Cardinals wideout DeAndre Hopkins asked.
“For one of us to be murdered by police brutality?” Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry added.
Barkley, Beckham Jr., Mahomes, Elliott and others then asked the question: “What if I was George Floyd?”
The players also named some of the black people who have been killed because of police brutality.
“I am George Floyd,” Hopkins said.
“I am Breonna Taylor,” New York Jets safety Jamal Adams said.
“I am Eric Garner,” Elliott said.
“I am Tamir Rice,” Mahomes added.
Beckham Jr. ended the video by saying “black lives matter.”
“We, the National Football League, condemn racism, and the systematic oppression of black people,” the players said in unison. “We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”
The video was also shared by ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefter, who shared Barkley’s video and tweeted: “NFL players put together this video.” It was unclear whether or not the NFL had sanctioned the video.