NFL Hall of Fame player and co-host of FS1’s Undisputed Shannon Sharpe took to social media to address something that happened in a Dallas courtroom on Wednesday October 2.
Ex-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was found guilty of murder in the death of Botham Jean, her 26-year-old neighbor. Guyger fatally shot Botham in his own apartment, which she said she mistook for hers.
Guyger is a White woman, Gotham was a Black man.
During the sentencing hearing, Gotham’s brother, Brandt Jean, gave a dramatic victim’s impact statement and followed it up by asking the judge if he could give Guyger a hug. Brandt said, “if you truly are sorry — I know I can speak for myself — I forgive you."
This was an extremely forgiving moment from Brandt but one that is seen as divisive, given the state of race relations in America. The killing of unarmed Black people at the hands of police is a scourge upon this nation and everything it believes itself to be.
Sharpe took to both Instagram and Twitter to share his views on the moment from the courtroom.
What are the chances Botham Jean would have received 10 yrs for murdering Amber Guyger after entering her apt illegally? What are the chances some of her family would hug him as his family hugged her? Blk ppl are always expected to be compassionate but rarely receive compassion— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) October 2, 2019
He raises fair questions, that we all likely know the answers to.
History suggests Botham would have received more than a 10-year sentence had he entered Guyger's apartment illegally and killed her.
We can’t know for sure if anyone from her family would have hugged him and gave forgiveness the way his brother did her. But history also suggests that would be unlikely.
Sharpe closes his thoughts with the following: “Blk ppl are always expected to be compassionate but rarely receive compassion.”
Whether it’s because of faith or something else. Black people must often take the high road, wait, or show compassion and grace in the face of unspeakable horrors and indignities.
Applaud Brandt Jean for showing an incredible generosity of spirit.
But also applaud Botham’s mother, Allison Jean, who isn’t sure she could’ve reacted the way Brandt did and said, “I don't want forgiveness to be mistaken with a total relinquishing of responsibility.”
Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images