Randy Moss Honored Black Victims Of Police Brutality At Hall Of Fame InductionAugust 6, 2018
Randy Moss made a powerful statement about police brutality and abuse of minorities during his induction into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame Saturday night.
The retired wide receiver wore a tie to the ceremony that listed black men and women killed by police in recent years, including Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Michael Brown and 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Moss referenced Uncle Ben’s famous “Spiderman” speech in an interview with the NFL Network after the ceremony, implying that his platform comes with “great responsibility.”
“What I wanted to express with my tie was to let these families know they’re not alone,” Moss said in the interview. “I’m not here voicing, but by having these names on my tie, in a big platform like the Pro Football Hall of Fame, there’s a lot of stuff going on in our country and I just wanted these family members to know they’re not alone.”
Randy Moss’ tie he wore tonight pic.twitter.com/RreQNkkNmZ
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 5, 2018
At the bottom of Moss’ tie was the name of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager killed in central Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman.
Though Martin was not killed by police as the other names on Moss’ tie, the 2012 shooting drew widespread public attention to young black men being killed by authority figures while unarmed.
The NFL is a heavily dependent on black talent; roughly 70 percent of players are black. And players have used their platform in recent years to take a stand on social issues, such as police brutality, since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled in silent protest a the national anthem played before a 2016 game.
League owners have struggled to craft a policy concerning such protests after President Donald Trump lashed out at the kneeling protests in a 2017 Alabama rally. Many players began kneeling in solidarity with each other after Trump’s speech, sparking a national debate over the appropriateness of the peaceful demonstrations.
The NFL instituted a policy in May that would require players to stand during the anthem or stay in the locker room in order to quell the controversy. It remains to be seen whether the policy stands, as the players union filed an official grievance over it in July.