In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing international protests against oppression and police brutality, many NFL athletes have used their platform to voice their opinions about racism directed towards African Americans.
A somewhat unexpected show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement has now arrived via the New England Patriots.
The Patriots have a well-earned reputation of being a "strictly business" kind of football organization that rarely lets outside noise from anywhere beyond Gillete Stadium seep into the workings of the team. On top of that, Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick both have a personal relationship with President Trump, who has condemned athletes for speaking out on political issues related to racism and police violence.
The support from the Patriots came in the form of a long statement from running back James White on the team's Instagram page.
In his statement, White expresses his opinion that change is necessary in order to ensure a better future for young African Americans. It's important for them to "feel like they matter in our society and that they don't have to feel inferior because of the color of their skin," he writes.
White also mentioned that his raising awareness about this issue does not come from a place of hating America or attempting to disrespect the American flag, which has again become a hot topic due to statements from Saints quaterback Drew Brees made during an interview with Yahoo Finance in which he said that he will "never agree with anyone disrespecting the flag of the United States of America."
As well as supporting White, the Patriots have used their platform to promote statements from the Kraft family condemning acts of racism and committing to take action to promote equality.
While some fans will always oppose the mixing of football and social issues, it is certainly refreshing for many Patriots fans to see their organization taking a stand, as well as taking concrete action.