Buffalo Bills' wide receiver Cole Beasley issued a powerful statement on race relations in America Thursday morning.
"Too long...for far too long in my life I have looked the other way. As a father of three bi-racial kids and as someone who loves to rap, I am embarrassed, really. Growing up as a white kid, I never had to go through the hardships that black people endure every day in this country.
"One of the first steps to recovery is first admitting that you have a problem or that you were wrong. I have been wrong for a long time. I have remained ignorant as much as it kills me to say. Not only have I failed black people, but I have failed my sons and daughter up to this point by turning the other way.
"This is too important of a time in our country to just sit by and scroll through everything that is happening before us. Every single person matters. No role is too small. Nothing you do is too little. Every bit is going to matter. Just please do something...#BlackLivesMatter."
Beasley, 31, has been on of his era's most productive slot receivers. After spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Dallas Cowboys, Beasley inked a four-year/$29 million deal with the Bills ahead of the 2019 season. He had 67 catches for 778 yards in his first season in Buffalo. Given that the Bills have added Stefon Diggs this offseason to a receiving corps that already included Beasley and John Brown, there are high hopes that the Bills could potentially make a deep playoff run in 2020.
As Beasley, notes, though, the world has been focused on much bigger issues than whether the Bills will win the AFC East after Tom Brady left the New England Patriots this offseason.
Buffalo has become one of the forefronts of the ongoing debate about police reform in the United States after a 75-year-old man was shoved to the ground by two riot squad members as he attempted to approach one and give him an officer's helmet back. The man began to bleed from his right ear and needed to be taken to the hospital.
The two officers in question in the incident were placed on unpaid leave and the rest of the Buffalo riot squad resigned to show solidarity with the officers.
Earlier this week, President Trump suggested that the man, identified as Martin Gugino, could have ties to Antifa:
Gugino has largely remained quiet in response to Trump and the incident itself, but he did tell USA Today "No comment other than Black lives matter. Just out of the ICU. Should recover eventually. Thx.”