Detroit, MI – Eminem doesn’t tweet too often but when he does, it’s typically for a good reason — either he’s promoting a new piece of music or raising awareness for various causes.
On Saturday night (September 19), Slim Shady used his massive Twitter platform to shine a light on an essay called “We Can’t Just Stick To Football” written by Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
“Proud of Matt for writing this,” he caption the post. “Everyone needs to use their platform to speak out. #BlackLivesMatter.”
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) September 20, 2020
In the essay, penned for The Players’ Tribune, Stafford expressed how important it is to address the racial injustice plaguing the United States and implored readers not to get swallowed up by entertainment.
“Yes, this NFL season just kicked off, and nobody is more excited about that than me,” he writes in part. “But we can’t just move on from the issue of racial injustice and use sports as a distraction. We can’t just stick to football. Not as a team. Not as an organization. And we shouldn’t as a country.”
He adds, “Police brutality, white privilege, racism — it’s all real. It’s time we stop pretending, or defending, or just closing our eyes to what’s right in front of us. We have to listen, and we have to keep having these hard conversations.”
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked a movement in 2016 when he opted to kneel during the National Anthem in the name of police brutality and racial injustice. The gesture ignited a contentious battle between Kaepernick and the National Football League, and he was ultimately fired.
In November 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL and its owners, accusing them of colluding to keep him out of the league. But in February 2019, he withdrew the grievance after reaching a confidential settlement with the NFL.
The movement picked up again after the May 2020 police killing of George Floyd, who Stafford mentions in the article.
“Shortly after George Floyd was killed, I was down in Atlanta doing my off-season workouts,” he explains. “It was obviously complicated because of COVID, so I had arranged to use a field where I could do some work with my receivers. The first one who could make it to Atlanta was Danny Amendola.
“Danny and I spent four days working out together. No problems at all. It was great. A week later, I went to do the same thing, at the same field, with four of my black teammates. We were just starting to dump all the footballs out on the field and some of the guys were still stretching when a gentleman came out and told us that we were trespassing — and to leave immediately.”
Stafford was shocked by how he was treated when in the company of Black players.
“We didn’t even have our cleats on yet,” he continues. “I remember I was standing there in my socks, just kind of stunned and confused, like, What? But he didn’t even want to listen. We were still gathering up the footballs and trying to figure out another spot where we might be able to go when the gentleman pulled out his cellphone. He said, ‘I’m calling the police.’ After everything that we’ve witnessed over the last few months, and how situations can escalate for no reason at all … and here the police are being called.”
Read the full essay here.