Russell Okung has played in the NFL for seven years. During his time in the league, he won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks.
Now Okung plays for the Los Angeles Chargers, and he has been paying close to attention to the protests during the national anthem.
At first, Okung did not think that former NFL player Colin Kaepernick was doing the right thing. Yet his mind changed, and he wants to organize players together to create something even bigger.
At the Players' Tribune blog, Okung put out an open letter to every single player in the NFL.
He wrote, in part:
Things have clearly gotten out of control. As a pragmatist, I will admit, I initially doubted the merits of Colin Kaepernick's protest and questioned his strategy.
I was wrong.
There is now no doubt in my mind that what he did last season was a courageous, prophetic, self-sacrificial act that has captivated a nation and inspired a powerful movement.
If I had his cellphone number, I would tell him that.
As Kap's message has now been distorted, co-opted and used to further divide us along the very racial lines he was highlighting, we as players have a responsibility to come together and respond collectively. But how can this happen practically?
The uncharted territory we're dealing with requires us to innovate if we are to effectuate any meaningful change — if we are to look back at this moment with pride when our grandkids ask us one day how we responded to the circumstances we now face. This requires some sober self-reflection and a greater awareness of what is limiting our effectiveness.
Later on in the letter, Okung took a shot at President Donald Trump.
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