Two days after owner Shad Khan announced his team would take action to address racial inequality in the United States, the Jacksonville Jaguars held a march in the city on Friday to raise awareness of injustices against the African-American community.
Several players and staff, including head coach Doug Marrone, as well as family members walked from the team's home of TIAA Bank Field to the Jacksonville Sherriff's Office in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in the custody of a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25.
"For many Americans, now is the moment. Never has that been clearer."— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) June 5, 2020
Our players are leading an organization-wide march to raise awareness for racial injustice against the Black community.
This is just the first step forward. https://t.co/8HP6CsxD8E
"Today we say no more," wide receiver Chris Conley said while addressing the crowd. "Today we see a nation that can't await change, a city that won't sit still or be quiet."
A number of players were unable to attend due to travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic but lent their support via video messages that were posted on the Jaguars' Twitter account.
"I believe we have people on this team, and in this organisation, that are committed to making real change," quarterback Gardner Minshew said in his message. "We realise this won't happen from one march, from one day, but a consistent effort to bring justice and equality into our city, into our community."
Khan, a Pakistani immigrant who became the NFL's first minority owner when he purchased the Jaguars in 2011, wrote an impassioned statement posted on the team's web site on Wednesday that decried the recent racially motivated events that have triggered civil unrest in several American cities.
"Racism, in all its forms, will kill.— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) June 3, 2020
It kills people, it kills communities, it kills dreams, it kills hope."
An op-ed from Owner Shad Khan ⤵
"As a member of the NFL family, I recognise I have a unique opportunity to address inequity wherever it is present, expand opportunity for all who seek it, and seek justice for all who deserve it. I take that responsibility seriously," Khan said.
"Racial discrimination has no place in our society. That's been said. But what's been done? We must have the answer today, and we will work with players, staff and more to arrive at a timely response.
"We cannot attack the virus of racism with indifference or periodic attention. We cannot expect an easy cure or give up when the quest because inconvenient or uncomfortable."