Raiders owner Mark Davis issued a statement yesterday which said he was surprised the violence hasn’t been worse, regarding the protests that have erupted after the death of George Floyd.
And he wants to do more to try to help.
“To watch a man be murdered by a uniformed police officer kneeling on the man’s throat for nine minutes while three uniformed police officers either assisted or stood by watching is disturbing in too many ways. To be honest I’m surprised that the resulting violence hasn’t been much worse,” the statement issued from the team read. “Emotions are high. The temperature is hot. And there’s static in the air. But burning your brother’s house down ultimately is not the answer. Not only do we have to tell people there is something wrong. We have to come up with solutions. That’s the challenge in front of us. Not only as Americans. But as human beings.”
That’s as honest and raw of a statement as you’ll see from an NFL owner, as many are written with much softer language and not that kind of specific mention of the role of police officers.
And after the statement was released, Davis told Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com that he has already had conversations with Nevada attorney general Aaron Ford and Clark County sheriff Joseph Lombardo.
“I want to get together with players, coaches and community leaders to get the conversation going, to discuss how to go forward,” Davis said. “The solutions start here at the local level, with the attorney general, the sheriff and other community leaders to open up lines of communication. That’s the beginning.
“Like I said in my statement, not only do we have to tell people there’s something wrong, we have to come up with solutions — as Americans and human beings. I’m trying to be positive but truthful.”
Davis has backed players who have wanted to protest in the past, and said he would continue to.
“If they have something to say, I’ll stand beside them,” Davis said. “I won’t stand behind them. I’ll stand beside them. And if there’s something I don’t know, I’m happy to listen to them. We’ve got to find a solution.”
Committing his resources — and his platform — to those voices will only magnify them, and offers an opportunity for some degree of change.