NFL Network analyst and NFL.com columnist Jeff Chadiha is used to talking about sports. Not today. The former police reporter dropped by CBS Sports Radio to offer his perspective on the civil unrest in America.
“I just want people to take action,” Chadiha began on The DA Show. “I want people to not just protest or tweet about their outrage, but to find some way to get involved in the community and make things better – not just this thing, but there’s a ton of things that [we] can make better that allow us to avoid the kind of things we’re seeing right now with George Floyd.”
What can people do beyond posting on social media? What are tangible actions they can take to create change?
“I think the first thing they can do is really look at their communities and see areas where they can get involved,” Chadiha said. “The simplest thing to say is go talk to your local representatives, try to figure out a way to create a civil advisory board, a community advisory board. Police work for us, and so they are beholden to what we want. Sometimes people forget that. So I think that’s one step. Talk to your representatives. Talk to your mayors.”
Adults can also become mentors and participate in community outreach programs. It’s important for kids to learn how to interact with police and to understand their rights.
“If you can give money, give money,” Chadiha said. “But I think time and interest means just as much.”
This, of course, is not the first time that the killing of an unarmed black man by police has resulted in nationwide protests. But this time feels different.
In a word, yes.
“This is different for two reasons,” Chadiha said. “It’s different because this is the starkest example of police brutality that we’ve seen in all the high-profile killings that have been discussed over the last few years. In the past, you could say, ‘Well, the guy was resisting arrest. He was fighting with the cops.’ Here, you had actual footage of a police officer with his knee on the neck of a guy who wasn’t resisting, who was unable to defend himself and who ultimately died from this. Anybody who watches that, there’s no other way to rationalize it than to say George Floyd was killed at the hands of Officer [Derek] Chauvin.
“So that’s one thing,” Chadiha continued. “The other thing, which shouldn’t be ignored, is we’re living in an era now where a pandemic is going on, people are unemployed, businesses are shutting down. I told people at the start of the whole coronavirus shutdown that people had about a 30-day bandwidth in which they could handle a lot of this stuff. Anything beyond that, all hell could break loose if you added one more thing to it. And so, what we got was a police officer murdering a guy in the streets, which just blew everything up. There’s nothing else to distract us. There’s no sports. There’s nothing else to move away from. So really, this is front and center in everybody’s minds because we haven’t found the next thing [or] news cycle to take it off our minds.”