Thomas Davis as only Thomas Davis can do: pic.twitter.com/jp75qKAdnN
— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) September 22, 2016
On Tuesday, Keith Lamont Scott was gunned down by police near the University of North Carolina campus at Charlotte. Following the shooting, there have been a series of protests in the city, which led to another person being shot on Wednesday night.
Since the shooting, Michael Jordan has called for peace in North Carolina while Panthers quarterback Cam Newton spoke out about how speaking out puts him in a difficult position as a black quarterback. Most recently, however, Newton’s teammate, linebacker Thomas Davis, talked about walking the line between the good and bad on both sides of the relationship between cops and the black community.
For me as an African-American male and to see this stuff going on, it’s very disheartening. One of the things that I had to do yesterday as a parent, I had to go home and talk to my boys who watched the news and seen what’s going on and explain to them that not all cops are bad cops. You know, just like cops have to realize that not all African American males are hoodlums or guys that are going out there deliberately getting in trouble.
I stand before you guys and I’m talking about this, and I’m trying to explain it to my kids to understand that police are here to protect and serve us. But at the same time, someone has to be held accountable for what’s going on. It goes above and beyond our scale as athletes in what we can do.
But one thing I focus on is trying to promote change within. That’s why we do the work that we do with the youth and try to catch them at the age that they’re at — and I think it starts right there. For us as athletes, what we can do is we can get out in our communities and we can connect with, not only the people we serve and the people we work with in the community, but we can connect with the police officers and really try to bridge the gap. We can try to create an on-going relationship to help promote change.
Davis’ words come on the heels of Colin Kaepernick beginning what is slowly becoming a protest of our country’s national anthem. To Davis’ point, things can’t change if there isn’t an effort on both sides to come together and figure out how to prevent these dealings from happening in the future — but the onus has to come from the side inflicting pain to begin these discussions, not from NFL players.