Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce of the Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs are stepping up to do their part in the fight for social justice.
The duo, who helped the Chiefs win their first Super Bowl title in half a century, spoke with SiriusXM NFL Radio following nationwide protests sparked by the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake.
"[The Chiefs have] done a good job of kind of bringing in different people to take to us about social injustices," Mahomes, 24, said of his club. "I think we've done a good job amongst each other of just getting each other's perspective [and] talking, if that's at lunch or if that's just in any free time that we have."
Blake was shot seven times by a police officer on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and his family said he is now paralyzed from the waist down because of the incident. The shooting has prompted protests in Kenosha, and two people were killed on Tuesday when a gunman opened fire on demonstrators.
Mahomes said "something that's critical in our country is how to find a way to be better, and with the Jacob Blake shooting, I mean, it's just — me and Travis were talking about it — it's just crazy, man, that this is still going on in the world that we live in today."
"We're going to try to set an example on it, whatever way possible, to show that we can get along and we can really respect one another for who they are and not the color of their skin," he added. "We're hoping that we can get over this. I mean, it's too long, it's been too long, and we're going to try to get over this and get to where we all treated each other equally."
When asked what propelled him to want to further his involvement in social justice issues, Mahomes said he was "tired" of seeing how people are being treated.
"It's too much suffering, it's too much of people being treated differently," he explained. "I think I was just tired of it, I think everybody is tired of it, and it continues to happen. We have to find a way to change and I'm going to a voice, I'm going to do whatever active, whatever I can, to make sure that we change and we can make the world a better place."
Kelce, 30, called on people to appreciate each other despite their differences.
"Everybody's just got to love each other and appreciate one another for who they are, their differences, knowing that we all do have differences," he said. "We all have crazy different upbringings. The people around us, thought of mind, things like that — everyone has to come together and appreciate everyone for who they are."
"Until we have that peace of mind," Kelce added to the radio station, "I think we need to stand up and make a change and make a difference in our communities until we see that."
While athletes from across the sports world have been vocal advocates for social justice issues since the shooting of George Floyd in May, this week saw unprecedented action from players and clubs.
Teams from the NBA, WNBA, MLB and MLS chose to sit out of their scheduled games in protest of police brutality after players from the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks remained inside their locker room for the fifth game of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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