Jack Flaherty is speaking out.
The 24-year-old California native posted a lengthy message on Twitter Sunday night, calling for justice for the “murder” of George Floyd and opined that law enforcement officials should take a more aggressive stance against other officers who are not as good at their jobs.
Here’s Flaherty’s post in its entirety:
What happened to George Floyd and what continues to happen in America is inexcusable. Changes must be made, so that people, like officer Derek Chauvin, are held accountable for their actions. He and the other officers, officer Thomas Lane, officer Tou Thao, and officer J. Alexander Kueng, knew what they were doing was wrong. Standling idly by, as a man is MURDERED in broad daylight, is just as guilty as committing the action itself. 8 minutes and 46 seconds of a man crying out I CAN’T BREATHE, a man crying out for his dead mother, and you still CHOOSE to stand by and do nothing.
The system continues to fail time and time again and nothing seems to change. Officers are not being held accountable for their actions. The badge and blue uniform are not a pedestal that puts a citizen of the United States of America above the law. The badge and blue uniform are there to distinguish those who are meant to PROTECT their communities, not terrorize and kill those that are meant to protect and serve. That being said, not all police officers are bad, but those who are not bad need to be speaking up about the injustices. Your voice needs to be heard. Your silence is speaking just as loud.
Speak up, so that your communities don’t lose complete trust and faith in you. Speak up against the injustices, speak up so that the oath, your uniform and your badge don’t become meaningless.
As for everyone else, especially those who have been able to reap the benefits of being born with white skin. Help make a difference. Use your voice. Support Black owned businesses. Educate yourself so that you can become aware of your own privileges you have had throughout your life. Educate yourself, to have a better understanding.
Have tough conversations with those closest to you, help change the system. There is much to be done and we must not give up. Especially after all of this starts to dwindle, because the media doesn’t find it to be “new” and “exciting” anymore. Don’t stand silent. If we ever needed unity it’s right now! We can make a difference one person at a time. Today is the day to start so that others can live without being in constant fear of their lives being striped away from them, or the lives of their loved ones. We are stronger together than we are apart, and together we must fight to stop these injustices. Not next week, or next year. Right now!
Flaherty seems to understand the importance of being an athlete in a racially charged society, using his platform to reach others to take action. It’s even more important when you realize Flaherty is speaking out as a star athlete in a sport where race has constantly been at the forefront of discussions and controversies.
Flaherty touched on everything, from standing alongside Black Americans and calling for change to wanting to hold substandard police officers accountable for illegal actions, while clearly drawing the line between generalizing law enforcement officials and calling action against unjust ones.
In recent days, sports figures from around the world have taken center stage in calling for justice for Floyd, from LeBron James to Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Editor’s note: This article originally identified Flaherty as a white athlete. Flaherty is of mixed race.