Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich met with the media on Monday and read a statement in support of the black community while addressing racial injustices experienced by African Americans.
“Few things stir the human heart and soul like injustice,” Reich said to reporters. “When we see it, feel it, experience it, it’s heart-wrenching. It’s not enough for a person who looks like me to say, ‘I’m not racist.’
“This kind of talk and thinking, it typically lends itself to a posture of neutrality, indifference, and passivity. It’s easy to be silent and do nothing, when it doesn’t directly impact you. This attitude simply doesn’t evoke any conviction about doing what is right, and standing up for the inherent dignity and rights of all people, no matter the colour of their skin.”
Reich’s comments follow a weekend of protests and riots in several American cities in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Floyd was an African American who died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck while he lay handcuffed on the ground. Protesters are calling for an end of police brutality against minorities.
“Racism is vile, deplorable, detestable,” Reich said. “There’s no form of it that is acceptable, and in no way can it be justified. Our black community has bore the brunt of this injustice far too long.
“I believe that I — we — all have a personal responsibility to speak up, and to act in ways that build each other up, not tear each other down.
“I believe each one of us can make a difference if we’re willing to grow personally and display the courage necessary for us to take steps of progress in this most important of issues.”
The Colts released a statement regarding Floyd’s death, and Reich said he supported it but also wanted to offer his personal views.
Reich also said some Colts players have participated in peaceful protests but was not concerned about their well-being.
“Sometimes, you have to take risks,” he said.