With yet another police shooting bringing the spotlight back to race relations in our country, Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap had some concerns about the the last time NFL teams were commenting on social issues.
According to Ben Baby of ESPN.com, the veteran pass-rusher seemed to have some concerns about the way the Bengals handled their response to the killing of George Floyd at the knee of police.
They were one of the last teams to issue any kind of statement, and the team posted a story to the team website announcing a $250,000 donation to “community initiatives.” Otherwise, a statement from executive vice president Katie Blackburn that the team was “continuing to listen and to working together as one connected team to better our society” was the extent of it. Owner Mike Brown hasn’t issued any public comment.
“They had their reasoning for it,” Dunlap said. “The players, some of them received it very well. Some of us still feel like we still could speak something.”
Dunlap, the team’s all-time sack leader, said he thinks the team’s response could be stronger, and that if they did more, they could create a larger impact in their community.
“I don’t want them to check the box,” Dunlap said. “I want them to do something they are passionate about. That way, they’re physically and emotionally invested in it, as we all are.”
Likewise, Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah said he and 10 other players are part of a committee which wants to make those changes, and are looking for the right way to show the team is invested in the cause.
“We’re taking the proper steps and trying to to make sure we shed light on the situation,” Uzomah said. “The owners are in there and players in that committee are asking a lot of the owners to help us with that, to help meet with us when we do certain things and they’re all on board.”
For Dunlap, fighting against discrimination is a real and daily issue. He talked about being part of a workout in a Florida park this offseason, when black players were asked to leave in aggressive terms, while a similar workout of white players was allowed to continue.
“It was appalling to us and it was very frustrating and it was something that almost made me act out of character,” Dunlap said.