The past few days have been difficult for many Americans following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot seven times in his back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The aftermath of the incident has taken a toll on many people across the country, including several professional athletes. The NBA and WNBA had all games postponed on Wednesday as players refused to play as a way to protest social injustice, while multiple MLB games were canceled as well.
The Washington Football Team was originally scheduled to have a scrimmage at FedEx Field on Thursday, but the team canceled it Wednesday night. On Thursday, Washington safety Landon Collins posted a lengthy message on Instagram, advocating for social change and for it to occur now.
"It breaks my heart that we're living in a time of a pandemic and crisis and instead of coming together, our nation is falling apart," Collins wrote. "Turn on the TV to see yet another killing of an unarmed black man. Shot 7 times in the back, in front of his 3 children.
"We have to demand change. We cannot be silent. We have to speak out and scream that the injustices and unfair treatment of African Americans in this country has to stop," Collins continued. "We must do the work. We must vote. We must seek change, and be the change we want to see. Most importantly we must educate ourselves and those willing to listen."
The safety sent along his prayers along to Blake's family, saying he hopes Blake's kids will be able to move past the trauma they experienced when their father was shot.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Jacob Blake," Collins said. "I pray his children are able to get past the emotional trauma they have been put through. I also pray for the families that are still seeking justice for lives that have been senselessly lost at the hands of the police."
Collins also said he plans to use his platform as an NFL athlete to speak out about social change, and to be a voice for those who feel that their own isn't heard.
"I have been given a platform and a voice and I choose to speak for those whose voices were silenced, and those who feel like their voices aren't heard. I hear you!" Collins wrote.
Collins understands that solving racial injustice and social inequality isn't a quick fix but vows to do his part so the next generation does not have to suffer the way the current one is now.
"Let's create a better future. Let's change the world," Collins said. "Our children's dreams depend on it."
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