Daniel Jones became the latest prominent NFL player to publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement when he issued a statement on Twitter Tuesday evening.
“I proudly stand beside my brothers and the entire black community in support of the Black Lives Matter movement to end systemic racism,” he wrote. “I know this is complex, and I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I am determined and motivated to do what I can to ask the right questions and work with others to drive change on this issue.”
Jones, the second-year quarterback for the Giants, admitted that making such a statement — through social media no less — is far from his comfort zone. He also explained why he chose to speak out when he did.
“Those of you who know me well know that posting on social media is usually not my first instinct about how to express myself,” he wrote, “and I felt that listening and talking with teammates and friends was important as a first step.”
While Jones’ statement is certainly far from controversial, it does seem to signal a new era for the Giants as they have a quarterback who will speak out on issues beside football. For the past 16 years Eli Manning has mostly swerved around any potential potholes in front of him, working hard in the community (he won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for his service) but mostly avoiding any political or social issues. Jones, it now seems, will be more willing to express his beliefs than his predecessor . . . despite his stated hesitation and discomfort doing so.
Jones is the latest Giants player to put himself behind the movement. The Giants issued a statement as a team but players Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard were part of a video posted along with other players last week imploring the league to make changes. A day later commissioner Roger Goodell released a video in which he admitted that the NFL was wrong in its handling of the Colin Kaepernick protests against racial inequalities four years ago.
Jones added to his statement an acknowledgment that he, as a white man, “may never truly understand how it feels to be on the receiving end of racial injustice.”
“But,” he continued, “I am committed to listening, learning, and taking action to stand up for others and make a difference in my community and in this country.”