At the epicenter to nation-wide protests against police brutality, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald delivered an essay about his hometown of Minneapolis.
“For as long as I have known it, Minneapolis has been a city of peace, family and contentment,” Fitzgerald wrote in the New York Times on Sunday.
“But not right now.”
The death of George Floyd has sparked international riots and protests and left buildings and vehicles across the country burned to the ground and unrecognizable, particularly in Fitzgerald’s hometown.
“I was baptized at New Beginnings Baptist Tabernacle Church, learned to catch a football at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park,” Fitzgerald wrote.
“Those same neighborhoods have literally been on fire the last few days – fires that in some ways symbolize decades of disappointment, anger and frustration.”
His essay quotes a portion of Dr. King’s “The Other America” speech, in which King condemns rioting but also explains its origins.
Fitzgerald describes a community of people who are “screaming to be heard” amid pleas to “stop killing our sons and daughters.”
It ends with optimism that all voices will be heard to enact change.
“In the midst of the current tragedy, I’m hopeful. We have a tremendous opportunity to ensure that all voices are heard. People of color are asking for radical, meaningful change that eliminates injustice in the legal system, roots out systemic racism in American society, and where authority protects rather than threatens,” he says.
“May God give us all ears to hear so that the cries of the unheard are never again compelled to scream in desperation.”