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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

Browns' DE Myles Garrett Quotes 8.27.20


Opening statement: 

“To start, I would like to ask for justice for Breonna Taylor, and I would like to ask that the officers that shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times and paralyzed him, I ask that they be held accountable for their actions. We will not stop until a reform and justice is served.”

On if the Browns recently completed a team meeting and if a decision was made about today’s practice, given some NFL teams have elected not to practice today: 

“We have seen that. We have seen that yesterday with the NBA, also with MLB and a lot of teams today who have decided not to practice. We had a meeting, not only with the team but some of the leaders on this team, on whether we want to practice. We stand in solidarity with everyone who has chosen not to go today, but we elected to shorten our practice. We are going to cut it down about in half with what we are going to do and try to fit everything in that hour, and then we are going to go in the indoor and brainstorm on how we can make change happen in our community and how we can move forward locally and as a state and how us as teams in Cleveland, whether it is the Indians, Cavs or it is just the Browns, can move this thing forward, move the needle just a little bit and be a start of something great.”

On if it will be hard to keep his mind on football during practice: 

“It is hard because seeing stuff like that every day, it hurts. I still think about Captain (David) Dorn’s family, I still think about the (David) McAtee family and the times I spoke to them. I look forward to speaking to them again. How their families were affected and how many threads were cut that day, whether it was him being an uncle, father, a lover, a friend, someone who brought a joy to the community or just income to that household, now you are losing someone who brings in money to keep your family afloat and you are losing that. It is the same with Jacob Blake, paralyzed and he is going to lose his job. You do not know what is going to happen with that. You do not know if justice is going to be served. All of that is going through your mind, and we are thinking how we can make a difference here and keep that from happening. That is kind of why we have abbreviated [practice] and why we are trying to all sit down in a group and brainstorm how we can keep things like that from happening and what can we do.”

On if he has thought about reaching out to Jacob Blake and his family, given his outreach this offseason to other victims’ families: 

“I definitely have thought about reaching out to his family, and it will be something I do in the coming days. Right now, just looking around the sports world and what people are doing and just standing in solidarity with them because we want to have a unified message. I believe it is our privilege as athletes to go out there and play in front of millions and have this platform, but I believe it is our responsibility as human beings to go out there and do our best for the people around us. I say do our best, I mean taking care of our community and using our platform to spread awareness and to spread information on our local governments and our local officials. Putting them in the position to make the best decision for themselves and for their families. I look forward to hopefully getting in contact with him, but there is a lot to be said and a lot to be done right now before I can get to that, and that is one of the top priorities as it is.”

On his reaction to the NBA postponing three playoff games as NBA players protested the Jacob Blake shooting: 

“I thought it was better late than never. That was a long time coming.  If we are really about what we are saying and what we are trying to spread awareness about, then we have to be about it. Those guys chose to make a stand. It is kind of similar to when (Muhammad) Ali decided not to go into the draft and now they take his boxing license away and he is away from the sport for three years now. Guys are taking a stand for however long, just showing that this means the world to them. It is over their careers. It is over accolades. This is top priority for people who have the privilege to play and do the things that they love, to play the sport that they love. I am glad that they did that. I am glad they were able to show how much this means to them. Us in Cleveland, it means a whole lot to us. I can tell just from how long we sat out there as a team and as a leadership council, we sat out there so long that they brought out water and Gatorade because we were standing there just chopping it up and seeing what we can do, how we are going to move forward, what is the plan for the day and how are we going get better, do we want to practice today and what are we going to do today to make this dialogue continue and make change, increase its rate of change.”

On his initial ideas of what can be done immediately to move the needle in the short term, as well as make a lasting impact, in the social justice arena: 

“I want to speak for the team first. I want to say that this meeting we will have later is going to be exactly for that reason of how we can really move the needle and how we can really get the ball rolling. There are a lot of guys in there with good ideas who are uncomfortable speaking in front of groups. I know that because I am and I was one of them. I have gotten better with age. Just getting to talk to them as individuals and on a personal level about how near and dear this is to them. I know guys have been affected on many different levels. We look forward to hearing from them on how they feel like how these changes can be made. For me personally, I brought forth the idea of a petition for criminalizing hate speech because I do not believe it should be said on forums, whether it is on social media like Twitter, Instagram or whatever you have it, on Snapchat where people take a picture of it and send it out or openly in the streets and marched and paraded. It should not be like that. It should not be allowed.  It should not be accepted in today’s day and age. It is wrong in so many ways, and there are so many avoidable events that started with hate speech on social media, whether on Twitter, whether it was from the many shooters that have shot up schools or shot up churches who started just with open hate speech and they had no opposition towards their ideas and towards their opinions, or towards groups who openly march and parade their ideas up and down streets who are allowed to walk by police stations and local officials, who openly do nothing, whether they agree with their ideas or not. That should not be OK.”

On if it is difficult for him, other Browns players and NBA players to take a public stance on social justice issues, knowing there may be criticism from some individuals:

“We take criticism every day on every action that we make. This will just be another one. This one just happens to hit home more than any other. I believe that we just have to be unified in our message. I don’t want any individual to feel singled out and to get any hate more than anybody else because they have their opinion. All of our opinions are shared. That is why we are giving it. That is why we are meeting together because everybody feels this way, and we all want to have a united voice so that we can’t be drowned out. We want to be heard, we want to promote change and we want to get the ball rolling. We want to make change happen.”

On if Browns players have discussed anything in particular they would like to see from Browns ownership, given NBA players referenced wanting to see action from NBA ownership:

“Just their backing behind us. I don’t foresee them being in opposition of what we are doing. Whatever we decide, I hope that they are among the front lines, they speak up as much as we have and they promote it as much as we do and we have. I am just hoping that they are there with us every step of the way.”

On how to help ensure that positive changes can be made permanently and current conversations and actions related to social justice continue, given player protests and activism have also happened in the past:

“The best way to make that happen is to be unified. I feel like most of the time when this has happened, it has been individuals being affected. Each person on each team is feeling some type of way, but the whole team is kind of on edge about what direction to go, what they want to do and how they feel. It is different this time. It has been a movement and not just a BLM movement; a lot of people are feeling this way of all colors and all walks of life. I feel like with so many leagues and so many people standing in solidarity in every sport and every profession, I feel like it can’t be ignored and it can no longer be looked down upon. It is just like many others have shared their opinions; like I said earlier about hate speech and how their opinion can be shouted out to the world and paraded in the streets, right now, we are trying to do the same thing. I am hoping that with our initiative to get people to vote, not only for the President – we only have so much say in that – you can give your vote and that is one person who looks over us, but you have the Senate, you have your governor, you have your mayor, you have your local officials, you have your police chief and you have so many people who you can really put in place to look over your families and those around you. That is part of our power. That is the power of democracy that we need to take advantage of. We need to be more aware of who we are putting in power and need to have a little more power in who we give that authority to, like those police chiefs. We need to know who comes into our county, our state and our town and what they have done. A cop or a police chief shouldn’t just be able to slide from one county to another or one state to another and just be openly accepted if he has committed a heinous crime. There is no way that he should be able to have shot someone or gotten off easy with a crime and be able to get another job. We should be more aware of that. We should be provided more information about that, and we should have more control over things like that in our community.”

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