Larry Fitzgerald Speaks out Against Racism in Powerful Essay

Larry Fitzgerald reacted to the death of George Floyd by going to the New York Times. He wrote an easy for the newspaper, talking about what Floyd's death has done to Minneapolis, a city where he was raised. The Arizona Cardinals star talked about his youth and how Minneapolis is not the Minneapolis he knew when he was a kid.

"The events of the last several days have turned Minneapolis, and our nation, upside down. Injustice, death, destruction, pain, violence, protests, and riots have made it clear — we as a nation are not OK," Fitzgerald wrote in the essay. "We are not healthy. The violent death of George Floyd in police custody is yet another example of a systemic problem we have yet to solve. A cancer we are failing to cut out. People and communities are suffering, lives are being lost and futures are being destroyed." Fitzgerald went on to mention he never personally experienced harassment by the police. However, he has seen minorities who were "not given the same benefit of the doubt and the same respect that was afforded to others."

Fitzgerald also brought up Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech The Other America, which talks about condemning riots but understanding why the riots are happening. "We are not listening to one another," Fitzgerald wrote. "Our winter of delay continues to result in cold hearts and lifeless bodies. The language of the unheard has broken the silence and our willful deafness has led to death and destruction." He went on to write, "Stop killing our sons and daughters. Stop terrorizing our communities. Give us justice."

Fitzgerald has been with the Cardinals since being drafted by the team in the first round back in 2004. He's a future Hall of Famer, being named to the Pro Bowl 11 times while recently being named to the 2010s All-Decade Team and the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. Before Fitzgerald's essay, the Cardinals released a statement on the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

"We recognize they are only the most recent examples of injustice racism continuing to permeate our communities," the statement said. "But words are not enough. Meaningful societal change will only come through unified actions and were are commented to being part of that change."