Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes on Black Lives Matter, George Floyd Tragedy
NFL’s fastest rising star is using his platform to positively impact lives.
NFL’s fastest rising star is using his platform to positively impact lives.
How you can help Black Lives Matter: BlackLivesMatters.Carrd.co
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes spoke to media about the George Floyd charity, using his platform for good, participating in the NFL players’ Black Lives Matter video, and what he hopes to accomplish moving forward.
Transcript and quotes below courtesy of Chiefs.
Fast Facts about Pat Mahomes:
Q: With your platform and your position not only as the face of the Chiefs franchise, but also one of the faces of the NFL right now, how have you worked through the scope of what’s happening right now, ways people can help, while also figuring out how you want to help and how you want to help push forward for change?
MAHOMES: “I think the biggest thing that I’ve done is just lean on people that I respect, people that I believe have done it the right way. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up with a lot of great role models around me and just trying to find and listen to them as they talk to me. And other people around the league who I feel have done it the right way and listen to the advice they give me. And then make the best-informed decision as far as what I do and the next step I take to move forward. Like you said, I’ve been given this platform and I want to make sure I do whatever I can to make the world a better place in whichever way that is.”
Q: There are a lot of players and voices that are involved in this player movement right now. But in the NFL, none of them have accomplished what you have in the short time of your career. Are you aware of the weight that your presence lends to the cause?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I’m definitely aware. I’m aware of everything, aware of my surrounding, aware that coming off of a Super Bowl championship and being the quarterback of a Super Bowl winning team, but I’ve always believed in people. And I’ve always believed that when people do things together and do things for the right reasons and have a good heart when they do it, that things get done and change happens. That’s how I’ve grown up – like I said in my statement – I’ve grown up in a locker room, so I’ve seen how people have come together and strive for a certain goal and to go do things. I believe that if people have the right intentions and the right heart and can come together, they can really affect the world and make it a better place.”
Q: What is your message to the young people that look up to you as an MVP and a champion? Especially for those kids that might experience racial inequality, what would you say to them about what they can do to make the world a better place?
MAHOMES: “I would say to do the same thing I’ve done my entire life and that is to talk to the people that have taught them their values and have taught them the right way to do things, and listen to them because they’ve had those experiences. I’m 24 years old so I’m maturing and learning things as I go, but I’ve learned a lot from people like my dad, LaTroy Hawkins and Coach Reid, and learned that there are ways to handle things in order to get your point across and respect people and do the right thing. But you have to learn and have your own experiences to do that. Just take in as much information as you can, making the best-informed decision you can make and try to do whatever you can to make the world a better place in every action you take.”
Q: When you decided to post your statement on social media, as well as participate in the Black Lives Matter video with other players, were you concerned at all about what the reaction might be from fans, ownership, potential sponsors? And have you seen any feedback, either positive or negative to your comments?
MAHOMES: “I feel like with every decision that you make, there’s going to be positives and negatives and that’s the world that we live in today. I believe in both my statement and the video that I made, that that stuff needed to be said. We needed to come together as a group, as players, and show that we believe that black lives matter and that we believe this needs to be informed, and we need to be the role models to go out there and take that step. Obviously, it was great to find the support that we’ve gotten from the Chiefs, from Coach Reid, from Clark Hunt, Mark Donovan. I’ve talked to Roger Goodell and he has shown his support to us. It’s something where I’m always going to be informed in my decision and understand that there’s going to be good and there’s going to be bad. But if I believe something, and I truly believe it, I’m going to – like Coach Reid says – let my personality show and I’m going to stand behind my words and I’m going to take whatever consequences that come with it. And hopefully they’re positive. But I’m going to be the best person I can be first, whatever that is.”
Q: What did you make of the 48 hours that Drew Brees had in terms of his original statement, his change of heart, and what that says about him?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I’ve known Drew for a pretty long time just being from Texas, and I know that he’s a good person and he has a good heart. Obviously, his statement missed the point and missed what was going on in the world today and took away attention from the movement that was going on and the peaceful protesting that was going on. But I think you see with his actions afterwards, and I believe with his actions moving forward, you will see the true person that he is, how much he cares about his community, and how much he cares about the people that he’s around. Time will tell, but I know that every interaction that I’ve had with him, he’s always showed me the upmost respect and I believe that his actions will show that as we continue to move forward.”
Q: Andy Reid said that you and Tyrann Mathieu are working on a voter registration program. Do you have any details that you could share right now? And why was that something you guys chose to focus on right now as part of this movement?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I think it came from talking and listening to teammates and people throughout our organization. Obviously with voting coming up for local offices and everything like that, we wanted to make sure that was in the front of our minds. We’ve talked about several things, nothing that is completely in stone, but voter registration was one big one that we really want to move forward with. We’ve had initial talks with Clark and we’ve talked with Mark Donovan and we’ve set up a meeting for next week with our committee, with a lot of the players that are kind of leaders on our team, and we’re going to try to find the best way to give money or support or whatever it is to get as many people registered to vote so they can go and try to affect change in every way they feel possible.”
Q: You mentioned your parents in your social media post and have spoken about them today. Was there a conversation that you remember from when you were a kid where maybe you realized that things weren’t quite right or the same for everybody? And what advice have you gotten from them, or can you get from them, as you move forward?
MAHOMES: “I always reference back to it in a lot of different situations and I’ve talked about it today, but I never had a talk that some people have had with their dads or their parents about being black and the inequalities that you could possibly have. I was blessed to be in a smaller hometown where everybody kind of knew who I was, and I was never put in a situation where I felt like I was not getting the same privileges as someone else. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned about it through having a black side of my family, and I’ve seen how they feel about it and I’ve talked to people that are on that side of the family. And I’ve also talked to people on my mom’s side of the family and I feel like I have a great perspective of how people feel and how the black community feels, how they don’t feel they get the same rights or value in some situations. My job I feel, having my platform, is to do whatever I can to just bring those feelings to light and let the rest of the world understand how people feel so that we can be a better community and a better world together.”
Q: What was your thought process between the time when you first saw the George Floyd murder video and when you decided to speak up? And also, what decision went into your decision to participate in the Black Lives Matter video?
MAHOMES: “The first part of your question, I can’t watch the entire George Floyd video through and through. I’ve watched in parts, but it hurts me too much to my soul to see him and feel like I can’t help, I can’t do anything to help the horrible situation that happened where George Floyd got murdered. To me, it just affected me knowing that I have people in my family who have been in and out of jail that could have been put in that situation. That’s where it took me – that could have been one of my family members, that could have been someone that I cared about, and how much hurt his family must be feeling – I can’t even understand honestly. I wanted to sit back and listen. I didn’t want to act off of anger, I didn’t want to act off of hurt. I wanted listen and make the best-informed decision that I think I could to help the world, help the community with my platform. So, I felt like that was where I first came up with my statement of trying to unite and show love to everybody.
Then when I got the video, (New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver) Michael Thomas actually sent me the video and the script and I loved the idea and I wanted to get every piece of information I could on it. I called everybody that I really trust and talked to them about it and decided that I really felt like I needed to be in this video and I needed to show my support to unite with the players and show that we care. That’s kind of how we came to make that video. Obviously, the NFL came back and made a video to kind of support what we said, and we think that’s the first step, but we want to make sure that it leads to action and it leads to different things that we can go out in the community and do to make the world a better place.”
Q: There were other recent killings of black people. What was it about this particular murder that made you speak up now?
MAHOMES: “I think it was just a culmination of seeing all this happening and wanting it to stop, wanting us to find a better way of preventing these instances from happening. It’s not that one of them was more significant than the other, it was just all of it happening and then me feeling like enough is enough, we’ve got to do something about this. I’m blessed to have this platform, why not use it? As I’ve gotten older, and I know I’m still young, I’ve learned a lot and I think that was one of the things – I know I have this platform, I know everyone’s not going to agree with it, but I’m going to do my best to make the world a better place and this is the right moment to do it.”
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