Aaron Rodgers delivered a message to police this week. That message? Good cops need to call out bad cops.
“One action by a cop doesn’t mean that every cop is unfit for duty or racist, but it gives them a bad name,” Rodgers said on Monday.
“It’s a bad look. I hope there can be cops who can speak out as we’re speaking out about these things and be as disgusted at this unfortunate norm has become in our country, but it starts with the system that’s in place. Until the system is changed, there’s not going to be a whole lot of change.”
Aaron Rodgers’ full two-minute, 20-second response to the shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin yesterday captured on video: pic.twitter.com/LAl2QsCJJz
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) August 24, 2020
The Green Bay Packers quarterback made his comments in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha Police Department officers.
Blake, 29, was shot multiple times at close range following an apparent refusal to comply with police officers’ order to stop walking to his car.
The incident restarted a series of protests across the United States that had seemingly begun to die down following the George Floyd unrest earlier this year.
Blake’s shooting prompted Rodgers, among other athletes, to speak out.
“There’s a systemic problem,” Rodgers added.
“Until the problem is fixed, this is going to be an all-too common sighting in this country. Obviously, this hits home, not being far from Green Bay.”
In Rodgers’ estimation, what happened to Blake speaks to a larger problem.
“There are antiquated laws that are prejudicial against people of color in this state,” he said.
“I think the governor and the folks at the Capitol need to take a hard look at some of those systems that are in place.”
The Packers star was quick to note that he has very positive relationships with many police officers, and that his reaction to the Blake shooting had nothing to do with those men and women.
“I know a ton of (cops),” he said.
“A lot of them have traveled with us over the years. I’ve been pulled over a couple times. I’ve had nice interactions which aren’t the norm of everybody on this squad. I have a lot of love and affection for the guys I’ve seen on a regular basis here for 15 years.”
Aaron Rodgers Was Not Alone In His Opinion
Rodgers’ statement on Monday was not the only strong athlete opinion on the Blake shooting.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James also spoke out on what had transpired.
“If you’re sitting here telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman, or detain him, or before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here, you’re lying to not only me, you’re lying to every African American, every Black person in the community because we see it over and over and over,” James said following his team’s game on Monday night.
James was not the only NBA player to speak out.
F THE GAMES AND PLAYOFFS!!! THIS IS SICK AND IS A REAL PROBLEM WE DEMAND JUSTICE! ITS CRAZY I DONT HAVE ANY WORDS BUT WTF MAN! THIS IS WHY WE DONT FEEL SAFE!!!! https://t.co/3E4Dd2wS3e
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) August 24, 2020
George Hill of the Milwaukee Bucks echoed that sentiment.
“It’s just sickening,” he said.
“It’s heartless. It’s a f—ed up situation. Like I said, you’re supposed to look at the police to protect and serve. Now, it’s looked at harass or shoot.
“To almost take a guy’s life, thank God he’s still alive. I know the cops are probably upset he’s still alive, because I know they surely tried to kill him. But to almost take a man’s life, especially in front of one’s kids, that wasn’t resisting in his back at point-blank range, is a heartless and gutless situation. We need some justice for that.”
Other NFL players spoke out as well.
Stop killing unarmed black people.
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) August 24, 2020
Praying for all black men & Women! Please be safe! Not everyone is against us but the few that are please be aware of them!
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) August 24, 2020
With the NBA postseason in full swing and the NFL season on the verge of beginning, this is likely not the last time notable athletes will weigh in on societal matters over the next few months.