Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, delivered a powerful speech Friday, in the wake of the Jacob Blake and Kenosha shootings
The head coach of the Steelers has voiced his opinions on the recent issues of police brutality back in June, and on Friday he delivered a short, but powerful speech, about recent social unrest.
“It is our desire to be active participants in the formation of a more perfect union. It’s time for the shield to protect us’: NFL players want team owners to take action.” Tomlin spoke, with Steelers standing behind him.
“We stand before you acknowledging that we are blessed and privileged. But that privilege does not shield us from sadness. This privilege does not shield us from shock or outrage. It does not shield us from fear, fear for our safety, or a loved one or an uncertain future.” Tomlin continued.
Tomlin ended his speech by saying he would be discussing with the team’s social justice committees about other ways the Steelers’ organization can help combat social injustices and other social issues.
When Tomlin finished, both he, the players and staff knelt in the center of the field and prayed.
Cam Heywood takes action
After taking part in Tomlins’s speech and prayer, Steeler Defensive Captain Cam Heyward told outlets that he wants to back up Tomlin’s words with actions.
“What we’re looking at right now is not going to get it done for our children in the future, they’re growing up in a world where they’re not accepted is unacceptable,” Heyward told reporters for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, later after practice finished.
Heyward also made this point in a past interview, where he told reporters that all the Steelers Defensive team would kneel during the anthem, as “a united front.”
Heyward is no stranger to social justice and criminal justice reform. The Steeler lineman has been a recurring advocate for change and has worked closely with the Pittsburgh Police Department since 2017. In hopes, of improving relations between police and Black communities in the area.
One of Heyward’s main goals is to repel Act 111 of Pennsylvania law, which allows police unions and fire unions to appeal disciplinary actions or dismissal of their members.
“We had an opportunity to strengthen that and to strengthen that when we say, the good cops stay in place but the bad cops don’t get to keep policing us. Those are things we can do.” Heyward added.
The Steeler’s first game will be against the Giants on September 14.
The first game that Steelers have fans attend will be on October 11, against the Eagles.
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