Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill this week said America was founded on racism, and he promptly demanded social change.
This, as he and his teammates announced on Twitter that the best way to take a stand was to not have practice that day.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) August 27, 2020
The Titans’ virtue signaling didn’t impress some of their fans, some of whom mocked the team and said they weren’t giving them any more of their money.
In the video, an unidentified player told fans that team members met that morning and decided not to practice because of “all the recent events in this country, this year, and for the last hundreds of years.”
Tannehill then spoke.
“These systematic oppressions have been going on for a long time. For hundreds of years. This country was founded on racist ideas, with slaves being brought here from the day of foundation. Those ideas have persisted throughout the last hundreds of years and it’s going to take time until we can get those all out. But we’re tired of it. We’re tired of dealing with the systematic oppression. We’re tired of dealing with excessive force. We’re tired of seeing black men and women die in situations where they should be walking home and spending the night with their families. It’s sickening to just know that they have to worry about their kids coming home at night,” Tannehill said.
“I have two young kids. Because of the color of their skin I never have to worry about them getting pulled over by a police officer if they are going to make it out of that interaction alive. And that’s a sick fact of the world that we’re living in. So we stand up here together, united, demanding change, that there’s equality and justice for all of those situations. Thank you.”
In response, a Twitter user named Brandon responded with this:
“I told my boss I wasn’t going to work too. He fired me. So much for equality.”
I told my boss I wasn't going to work too. He fired me. So much for equality
— Brandon (@giveemHELums) August 27, 2020
Twitter user Brent Smith also criticized the video.
“Could y’all come up with any more reasons for people not to watch games this year. Game attendance has already been cancelled so TV is all you got,” Smith said.
Could y’all come up with any more reasons for people not to watch games this year. Game attendance has already been cancelled so TV is all you got.
— Brent Smith (@BrentSmith62) August 27, 2020
According to Forbes, Tannehill signed a four-year $118 million contract with the Titans after the 2019 NFL season.
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