Arizona Cardinal’s legend and presumptive hall-of-famer Larry Fitzgerald penned a deeply moving letter in the New York Times this weekend. Speaking to what he called “a systemic problem” Fitzgerald clearly choose his words carefully and spoke from the heart.
Here’s an excerpt of Larry Fitzgerald’s letter:
“The events of the last several days have turned Minneapolis, and our nation, upside down. Injustice, death, destruction, pain, violence, protests, and riots have made it clear — we as a nation are not OK. We are not healthy. The violent death of George Floyd in police custody is yet another example of a systemic problem we have yet to solve.
“A cancer we are failing to cut out. People and communities are suffering, lives are being lost and futures are being destroyed.
“Growing up, I never personally experienced harassment from the police, but I knew there were issues and I saw situations where people of color were not given the same benefit of the doubt and the same respect that was afforded to others.
“When will this terrible cycle end?”
Larry Fitzgerald “George Floyd, in your final gasps for breath, we hear you.”
“We are not listening to one another. Our winter of delay continues to result in cold hearts and lifeless bodies.”
“People of color across this nation are screaming to be heard. Stop killing our sons and daughters. Stop terrorizing our communities. Give us justice. … The screams of disrespected voices are ringing out in our nation right now. We must never condone violent riots that take lives and destroy futures but we must also hear the desperate voice of protest that is calling out for justice.”
“George Floyd, in your final gasps for breath, we hear you.
“Breonna Taylor, in your besieged home, we hear you.
“Ahmaud Arbery, as your footsteps pounded the ground, running for your life, we hear you.
“Victims of violence, poverty and injustice, we hear you.
“Communities and lives torn apart by riots, we hear you.
“People of privilege learning a better way, we hear you.
“Mothers and fathers of every race doing the best you can to teach your children to love and not hate, we hear you.
“May God give us all ears to hear so that the cries of the unheard are never again compelled to scream in desperation.”
It is time for people to come together and finally resolve for things to change. All it takes is tolerance, understanding, and dialogue. In this day and age, these are conversations we shouldn’t still be having. But at least, at last, things may begin to be addressed.
With voices like Larry Fitzgerald’s added to the narrative, we can only have faith things will start to change.