Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Randy Moss says black athletes are 'terrified' to speak out about social justice issues

Alex Reimer
August 10, 2018 - 12:07 pm

Randy Moss made the loudest statement at NFL Hall of Fame weekend without saying a single word. During his induction speech, Moss wore a tie featuring the names of victims of police brutality. Some of the victims highlighted were Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin.

In a recent interview with the Undefeated, Moss said he hopes to help steer the nation towards speaking candidly about police brutality in black neighborhoods. “We’ve got to put the attention on the right things. We’ve got to admit to the problem. Everybody,” he told Jason Reid. “What if black police officers around the country were going up in these white neighborhoods with rich white kids and started killing them? What would people say about that? What would be the reaction to that? A lot of people just don’t want to really talk about what’s going on. A lot of people don’t want to talk about the pain people are feeling out there. There’s a badass crisis in our country that’s happening every day. And then when you bring it up, when you just try to talk about the truth, you get all this flak.”

Moss received lots of flak for his wardrobe choice, telling Reid he deleted “150 to 200” hate messages in the immediate aftermath of his speech. Moss says the blowback exemplifies why he thinks some black athletes are weary to speak out on divisive social issues.

"Athletes are scared right now,” he said. “A lot of athletes, most guys, don’t want to talk about this. They’re terrified for their careers. They’re terrified about losing their occupation, which is how they feed their families. Black athletes know they’re being treated a certain type of way. Most guys can’t really voice their opinions. They’re worried about getting the same type of treatment that Colin Kaepernick got.”

Moss is right. Kaepernick is going on his second year of free agency, even though he posted a QB rating north of 90 during the 2016 season. He led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013 as well. There’s no doubt that his social activism is keeping him out of the NFL. Kaepernick’s ex-teammate, safety Eric Reid, is on the sidelines, too. 

That’s quite a deterrent to black athletes, especially those whose careers may not be established. That's why it's been remarkable to see so many athletes, including Patriots safety Devin McCourty, continue to take stands. Multiple players demonstrated during the anthem before Thursday's preseason games, despite constant criticism from President Donald Trump. 

Kaepernick's blackballing has not silenced them all. 


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