Derek Carr

Derek Carr Showing Growth in Fight for Equality

The world is exhausting all avenues to express their staunch resentment towards the senseless murder of George Floyd. Many signal-callers around the NFL have spoken in favor of equality and criminal justice reform. Las Vegas Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr is taking matters into his own hands to tackle the issue head-on.

There’s No Middle Ground For Equality

Since the murder of Floyd, the world has been mounting with more tension. Moreover, lines in the sand have been drawn. The two sides in the battle for equality could not be any more clear. On one side of the aisle, you observe those in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement.

On the other side of the coin, there are those that say “All Lives Matter.”

Ultimately, desiring equality for all is not a topic in which one can simply be lukewarm. Recently, Saints quarterback Drew Brees offered a statement on current events.

Brees’ deflective answer wreaked havoc throughout the world and members of his own team condemned his ignorance.

Brees wasn’t the only quarterback to botch matters off the field. Buffalo Bills rookie Jake Fromm also recently participated in a shameful conversation that revealed racial remarks.

While Fromm and Brees are rightfully receiving torrential backlash for their words, the Raiders lie in the opposite spectrum. In a time where many are saying the wrong things, Derek Carr is handling current events admirably. That’s something only a few would’ve fathomed three years ago.

Related: Glaring Raiders Omissions in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

A Flashback to the Mystery Game of 2017

The year is 2017 and Raiders are off to a 2-0 start after defeating the Tennessee Titans and the New York Jets. The Raiders were slotted for a prime-time Sunday Night Football matchup against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Maryland. That same day, countless NFL players partook in peaceful protests during the U.S. national anthem.

Why were players protesting so adamantly that day you may ask? Two days prior in Huntsville, Alabama, U.S. President Donald Trump made the following statement:

As a result of the president’s blatant disrespect towards a peaceful movement, hundreds of players joined the movement two days later. Members of the Raiders did not hesitate to be part of it.

Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal

That day, Raiders players locked arms during the national anthem prior to playing the Redskins in 2017.

A majority of the team joined in the protest, except for Carr. He appeared to be praying throughout the duration of the national anthem as seen in the video below.

After the anthem, the wheels immediately fell off and the Raiders went down in a 27-10 loss. Pundits and media alike questioned if the team’s offensive line intentionally gave up sacks during the game. The possible reason was that their team captain refused to participate in a peaceful protest.

A cloud of uncertainty surrounds that game for the organization and Carr. Nonetheless, the veteran quarterback is nowadays learning. Silence is not the answer when your teammates are fighting for equal rights that every human being deserves.

Derek Carr Shows Solidarity in 2020

Carlos Avila Gonzalez /The San Francisco Chronicle

NFL Media reporter Jim Trotter recently reached out to Carr for an interview. Trotter asked Carr what inspired him to speak out on social issues now compared to his relative silence in 2016. The signal-caller stated the following:

“For years, we have all been taught to “just stay out of politics.” (When one side is so far one way and the other side is so far the other.) Not just as a white athlete, but all athletes in general. I think over the last couple of years, people have begun to break down these barriers by using their platform for what they believe is right.

Something I was always taught as an athlete was to keep your head down and be you when there is a major headlining story. I use my platform to preach all over the world, which is an honor and a blessing. But recently, it started to weigh heavy on my heart that it was time to stand up and say what I have been feeling for a long time, disregarding what anyone from any standpoint had to say or think about it. I felt in my heart this was the right moment to speak up, to not care so much about politics but instead speak truth.

I have been angered and heartbroken by any loss of life in the past, but now I feel that I am in a place where I can make a difference with my actions and not just my words. I’m working closely with teammates and higher-ups in the Las Vegas community to take actual actions and stride to make our country better.

My goal is simple, and that is to unite people. Nothing bigger, nothing smaller. Unity is how we will see real change occur! As a spiritual, God-fearing man, I believe that our country is dealing with major spiritual, heart and system issues. Therefore, I firmly believe the blood Jesus shed on the cross is the answer; not fighting and anger.

I feel the same way today as I always have. I want everyone to feel loved and welcomed. I want every life to be so precious to everyone. I want people to love their neighbors just as they love themselves. I want a genuine respect and unity for every life that lives in these United States and calls it home.

I want the fighting to stop. I want people to help people in need. I want to see people stop striving for power in politics and actually do what they say they were going to do. I want to see prayer back in schools. I want to see team sports be a place where all different walks of life come together for a common goal in our communities. I want to see children raised up loving everyone and not counting them out before they actually know them. That’s what I want to see.”

The California native’s outspokenness should resonate throughout all of Raider Nation. Regardless of his play on the field, his decision to speak up for the greater good is invaluable. It is a marquee aspect of being an honorable human being to vocalize support for others even when some condemn their movements for change.

For a man that was once mute three years ago, Carr is now starting to come out of his proverbial shell. Hopefully, his boldness translates to the gridiron this upcoming season as well.

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*Top Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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