Tennessee Titans' Derrick Henry Wears Suit with Names of Racial Injustice Victims
The athlete's suit featured the names of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tamir Rice and Emmett Till
Tennessee Titans player Derrick Henry is powerfully honoring victims of racial injustice through his wardrobe.
On Sunday, the running back stepped off the plane in Denver while sporting a bold suit that featured the names of dozens of those victims whose lives were lost to police brutality and racial injustice.
The athlete's suit was black with white text and included names such as Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tamir Rice and Emmett Till.
Henry paired the statement suit with a white undershirt and black face mask to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Later that evening, the Titans shared several photos of Henry's outfit on their Twitter page, writing, "It takes all of us."
On Monday, the Titans defeated the Denver Broncos 16-14. During the game, several players from both the Titans and the Broncos took a knee during the singing of the national anthem, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
At least 18 Broncos players participated in the protest and Titans defender Brian Orakpo raised his fist during the anthem.
According to the Gazette, the Broncos issued a statement ahead of the game expressing their respect for their players should they choose to be a part of the protest.
"How a player, coach, staff member or fan chooses to express themselves during the national anthem is a personal decision," the team's statement read. "Our entire organization has the deepest appreciation and gratitude for the flag, the military and the first-responders who keep us safe. We also understand the importance of bringing awareness to – and ending – police brutality, systemic racism and injustices toward the Black community."
Adding, "Together with the players, we will continue to listen, grow and work to inspire change. We are proud of the players and stand with them in the fight for equality.”
Several other teams paid tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement during their opening games this week.
On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings honored George Floyd’s family before their home opener against the Green Bay Packers
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 after an officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes while three other officers stood idly by. His death led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
Before the family recognition, a pre-recorded performance of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" by James Weldon Johnson was played.
Vikings players wore custom shirts emblazoned with the words “Be the Change” on the front and the names of 200 people who have been killed by acts of racism or police brutality on the back. Players also had the option to wear helmet decals with social justice messages or the name of a victim of systemic racism.
The end zones in the stadium were marked with the messages “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism,” one of many league-wide initiatives announced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this month.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
• Campaign Zero works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
• ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
• National Cares Mentoring Movement provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.