Matthew Stafford isn’t one of the off-field spotlight. He doesn’t use social media. Whenever he does something for the community or for a charity, he does it with a whisper, not a shout. Even in the realm of football, he’d much rather let his play on the field do the talking than spend time in front of a podium explaining it all.
But Stafford stepped out of his comfort zone this offseason. On Sunday, he was one of few NFL quarterbacks to take a knee during the anthem in support of the fight against racism and police brutality. And on Friday, he took it one big step further.
The Lions quarterback penned an entire article for The Players’ Tribune on the issues facing this country and why it’s important for him to speak out right now.
“Police brutality, white privilege, racism — it’s all real,” Stafford wrote.
Stafford retells a story from this offseason, in which he held two private workouts on the same field. During the first, he and Danny Amendola practiced on four different days with no issues. A week later, he went back to the practice field with a few black teammates. They were immediately told to leave. The person then called the cops and said they were being uncooperative despite the fact that they were packing things up.
“The only difference is what we all know in our hearts,” Stafford wrote. “Danny and I are white. We don’t get the cops called on us in those situations. We don’t immediately get called uncooperative. And if even if Danny and I somehow did get the cops called on us, we all know how that interaction would’ve gone.”
Stafford’s article goes on to explain just how eye-opening and moving the team’s actions were the day they cancelled practice in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting. A day he calls “My proudest day as a Detroit Lion.”
He talks about the moving stories told by the likes of Trey Flowers, and how he felt the need to support his teammates after they did the same for him when his wife had a brain tumor.
Rather than get into the entire thing, you should just go read it right now.