For the last two weeks, protests and rallies have been erupting all over the country in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis. Thousands, including NFL players and other professional athletes, have joined the movements and spoken out. Broncos linebacker Jerry Attaochu was one of them, taking the mic and leading the way for the rest of his teammates this weekend. At a 'Black Lives Matter' rally in Denver on Saturday, Attaochu took the stage to deliver a speech about what the movement means to him, and what change is necessary in the fight against systemic racism.
"I grew in the inner cities of Washington, DC, and I saw my black brothers and sisters and I struggled with them," Attaochu said. "I know what it was like to live in Section 8 housing and go to terrible schools. We need to stop putting a band-aid on an old wound. Overpolicing, police brutality, hate, racism, is built by the system and the younger generation is tired of it and we want real change."
Attaochu also took the opportunity to call on other athletes to join him in making their voices, and those of others, heard, while making it known why athletes are protesting.
"What we are out here as players is to be an agent for change," he said. "And that's the only way we will fix things, using our voices to speak out on policies and things that aren't allowing our people to be successful."
As more and more athletes spread messages like Attaochu's, there is a hope that enough voices will lead to substantial change. Attaochu's voice was not wasted in his speech.