Broncos general manager John Elway said in a statement he posted on his Twitter feed on Friday evening that he will “fully support” his players by using their platform and influence in a positive way to create change. “
Elway has also vowed not to “stay on the sidelines” and “understands that his voice should also be part of this conversation.”
Elway’s comments were his first since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis prison on May 25 and came two hours after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a video statement that the league was “wrong because he wasn’t listening” to his players earlier and encouraged them to continue to protest peacefully.
Full text of Elway’s statement:
“I have listened and learned from the players and coaches in our team over the past week.
“What I’ve heard from the players in particular – and how they lead in this time of need – is moving. I always thought that since growing up in a locker room, I knew everything there was to know about understanding of teammates with different backgrounds and ranks and positions What I realized is that I couldn’t be more wrong.
“Listening to the players and reading their social media (outlets), the power they showed and the experiences they shared were powerful. It has touched me. I realize that I have a long way to go, but I keep listening and learning. That is the only way to grow. I really believe that many good things will come from the many difficult conversations that take place around our team, league and country.
“The way in which the players amplify the voices to be heard is more important than ever. I fully support them by using their platform and influence in a positive way to create change. Recently we have heard all people say that sport in such a challenging time can be a distraction. I know that the players, our team and our league can be so much more than that. We can all be part of the solution. I also understand that my voice should also be part of this conversation. I’m not going to stay on the sidelines.
“Everyone has a responsibility to help those in pain. I join the players, coaches and our organization to speak out against racism, police brutality and any injustice against the black community. ”
The Broncos, led by their players and coaches, will gather at the Colorado State Capitol in downtown Denver on Saturday at 12:30 PM. for a demonstration march against racism and police brutality. On Tuesday, safety Kareem Jackson, who is expected to travel for his off-season event in Houston, suggested a march would be a good starting point for the players.
Earlier this week, Elway attended two Broncos team meetings. On Tuesday, President / CEO Joe Ellis led a conversation about Floyd’s death and subsequent protests. On Wednesday, coach Vic Fangio led the discussion, apologizing and explaining on Tuesday that he “did not see” racism and discrimination in the NFL.