The Baltimore Ravens are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for a vote on the George Floyd 2020 Justice in Policing Act, demanding arrests for the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor and the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Players and staff signed a letter to McConnell on Monday in support of the legislation which would overhaul qualified immunity for law enforcement, prohibit racial profiling, and ban no-knock warrants and chokeholds on the federal level among other provisions.
The bill passed in the House of Representatives by a margin of 236-181.
"I think the statement was really great, because it was very specific, and it outlined the things that we're going to do in terms of initiatives that we want to support," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said to reporters in a Zoom conference last week, according to USA Today.
A video in which players call for justice was also released by the team on Monday (Aug. 31). Quarterback Robert Griffin III, defensive end Calais Campbell, kicker Justin Tucker, linebacker Matthew Judon, and center Bradley Bozeman all appeared.
“This is bigger than sports,” the Ravens’ statement reads, in part. “Racism is embedded in the fabric of our nation’s foundation and is a blemish on our country’s history. If we are to change course and make our world a better place, we must face this problem head-on and act now to enact positive change.”
Over the course of the past few weeks, pro sports has taken a more visible role on social justice. Last week, several NBA teams, led by the Milwaukee Bucks, boycotted play for a day during the playoffs to make a statement about police violence. The WNBA followed suit in solidarity. Support also came from The Milwaukee Brewers and several teams in Major League Soccer.
Awareness in social justice also reached college sports. On Tuesday (Sept. 1.) Alabama Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban led a march with student athletes in response to the issue.
BET has been covering every angle of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.
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