The Players Coalition has gathered more than 1,400 signatures from current and retired athletes, coaches, general managers and staff members from the NFL, NBA and MLB for a letter to the United States Congress urging them to pass the Ending Qualified Immunity Act.
This bill is intended to end qualified immunity, which makes it difficult to sue police officers for brutality and was drafted by U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. and and Justin Amash, L-Mich.
Today, on behalf of 1100+ athletes & coaches and 300+ front office personnel across the @NFL @NBA & @MLB, we urge Congress to pass the Ending Qualified Immunity Act, introduced by @justinamash & @AyannaPressley— PlayersCoalition (@playercoalition) June 10, 2020
We demand accountability for police brutality. It's time for change. pic.twitter.com/ro7eRmvSK6
“It is time for Congress to eliminate qualified immunity and it can do so by passing the Amash-Pressley Bill,” the letter to Congress reads. “When police officers kill an unarmed man, when they beat a woman, or when they shoot a child, the people of this country must have a way to hold them accountable in a court of law. And officers must know that if they act in such a manner, there will be repercussions. A legal system that does not provide such a recourse is an illegitimate one. In their grief, people have taken to the streets because for too long, their government has failed to protect them. The Courts and elected officials alike have instead shielded people who caused unspeakable harm. Congress must not be complicit in these injustices, and it should take this important step to show that law enforcement abuse will not be tolerated.”
Several current and former Atlanta Falcons players signed the bill, such as:
Deion Jones, Kurt Benkert, Ricardo Allen, Keith Smith, Russell Gage, Brian Hill, Ito Smith, Olamide Zaccheaus, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, C.J. Reavis, LaRoy Reynolds, Chris Cooper, Jamal Carter, Devin Gray, Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, Sean Harlow, Roddy White, Mohamed Sanu, Tony Gonzalez, Jack Crawford, Jalen Collins, Adrian Clayborn, Derrick Shelby, Steven Jackson, Tim Dwight, Dwight Freeney, Brooks Reed, Kenjon Barner, Justin Hardy, Austin Hooper, Joey Mbu, Peerless Price, Eugene Robinson, and Courtney Upshaw.
For more on the Players Coalition and its efforts to fight social injustices and racial inequality, click here.