NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens led a march in West Hollywood amid ongoing protests about systemic racism and police brutality. He led a group of demonstrators down the street while holding a megaphone. He then led the chants and called for the crowd to say the names of two victims — George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
"What do we want? JUSTICE! When? NOW!!" Owens and the crowd chanted while walking down the middle of the road. The retired NFL receiver then switched to a different chant. "Say her name. Breonna Taylor! Say his name. George Floyd!" According to TMZ, there was a heavy police presence, but there were no issues. The crowd took part in a peaceful protest with the help of Owens.
Several NFL players have been taking part in the protests against systemic racism and police violence since Floyd's death. New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan helped protest while wearing a mask while several Denver Broncos players spoke to the crowd at Civic Center Park. This included Von Miller, Justin Simmons and Alexander Johnson.
"We have to use our moral compass to make decisions on what is right," Miller said, per the Coloradoan. "It's 2020. Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown and we're still fighting this fight. It's up to us to keep it going." Simmons said that the fight for change can't stop at marches or holding up signs. He explained that worldwide support "means nothing" if it doesn't bring about concrete change.
Several other NFL players banded together for an emotional video called "Stronger Together." Deshaun Watson, Michael Thomas, Patrick Mahomes, Odell Beckham Jr., Tyrann Mathieu, Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley and DeAndre Hopkins took part and called for the league and commissioner Roger Goodell to speak out against racism. They also laid out a list of phrases they wanted to hear from the man atop the league.
"On behalf of the National Football League, this is what we the players would like to hear you state," the players said. "We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systemic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter."
Having Goodell and the league admit that they were wrong was included in the list of statements due to Colin Kaepernick. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback kneeled in protest of police brutality during the 2016 and 2017 NFL seasons. He has been a free agent since without any contract offers amid allegations that the league is blackballing him.