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Detroit Lions QB Stafford in blog: ‘Police brutality, white privilege, racism - it’s all real. It’s time we stop pretending'

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2019, file photo, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford warms up before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif. Since the start of last year, Matthew Stafford has had to deal with a health scare involving his wife, his own injury problems -- and more recently, a coronavirus test that the team later described as a false positive. It's been a difficult period for the Detroit star. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2019, file photo, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford warms up before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif. Since the start of last year, Matthew Stafford has had to deal with a health scare involving his wife, his own injury problems -- and more recently, a coronavirus test that the team later described as a false positive. It's been a difficult period for the Detroit star. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is typically pretty quiet outside of the game of football. But when it comes to racism and police brutality, he feels the need to speak up.

Stafford, who has been participating in team protests against police brutality this year, posted a blog in The Players Tribune on Friday titled, “We Can’t Just Stick to Football.”

Here’s some of Stafford’s post:

As most everyone knows, I haven’t exactly embraced social media over the years. It’s just not me. But I feel like it’s right to take the time to say what’s on my heart as we begin this new season together as a team. And what’s on my heart is that we all need to come together as a country and admit what we know is real. Deep down inside, no matter what political party we support, or what we do for a living, we know what’s real.

Police brutality, white privilege, racism — it’s all real.

It’s time we stop pretending, or defending, or just closing our eyes to what’s right in front of us. We have to listen, and we have to keep having these hard conversations.

And it’s not like this is just our history. This is right now.

These are not political problems. These are human problems. It should not be seen as a political statement to discuss this stuff honestly. And I’m sure there are people out there who simply don’t want to hear it. But let me just tell you a quick story.

(You can read more here)

During training camp, the Lions skipped practice and staged a protest after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“If you’re being silent, you’re OK with it,” Detroit safety Duron Harmon said. "You’re OK with what’s happening. No one in this organization or on this team is OK with it. "

Stafford said social justice issues were discussed as a team in Zoom meetings during the spring, when players were prevented from gathering at the team’s facility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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