Former NFL Star Chris Long Calls for More Protests From Players

Former NFL defensive end Chris Long is a man known for charity work and trying to make a positive difference in the world. He was named the 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner partially due to the Waterboys initiative, which helped raise more than $3 million and funded 55 wells in East African communities. Although his donations of game checks to educational charities also played a factor.

Considering all of the work that he has done in various communities over the years, as well as his support of fellow NFL stars during their protests, it's expected that Long's opinion carries a lot of weight.

As recognition of this fact, Sports Illustrated gave Long a platform on which he could react to peaceful protests in the NFL and Jay-Z's comments about "moving past kneeling."

"I think players should still protest," Long said. "That's the thing, I'm part of the coalition, and I'm saying this. Like, protest! If you feel like there are injustices that are not being addressed — which hopefully, we are getting toward educating NFL fans on being more cognizant on what's happening in our inner cities with police, and the accountability, and that sort of thing — then continue to protest. There's nothing wrong with that."

As Long continued to explain, he supports the protests, and he wants the guys to feel like they are playing in a league where they can speak their mind. The NFL has not always necessarily been a supportive league, but Long wants to change that fact.

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He understands that it's not easy to trust the league after recent history and believes that the NFL needs to do a better job showing a commitment to the changes. These moves can't simply be made for Public Relations purposes. The NFL actually has to be dedicated to making a difference in the community.

Whether this happens in the near future remains to be seen, but change will ultimately take place. For now, however, Long believes that players should continue to keep protesting in order to bring attention to social inequality and injustice.