Murphy: ‘Fighting racism is not an issue the Packers will shy away from’

When Billy Turner spoke with reporters Friday the Green Bay Packers offensive lineman said it would go a long way if the 32 NFL owners took a stand for social justice and made their voice heard in the movement. On Saturday, the closest thing to an owner the Packers have, team president/CEO Mark Murphy, did just that.

In a video message posted on the team’s website, Murphy put the Packers stance on social justice efforts on full display.

“We feel this is an issue that obviously impacts the Black community, but it’s not up to just the Black community to solve this issue. It’s on all of us,” Murphy said. “I often hear from fans that we should just stick to sports. I have to respectfully disagree.”

Murphy said that they have had good talks with Wisconsin governor Tony Evers and Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke on a number of issues and added that players will be meeting with them in the future. He made a point of saying there is a hope to get body cameras on all police officers. The cost of the cameras is prohibitive and it’s one of the reasons why the officers in Kenosha that shot Jacob Blake last weekend were not wearing them.

Getting people registered to vote is also among the key initiatives listed by Murphy. To that point, they are going to make the Johnsonville Tailgate Village a polling station for the election in November. Murphy said the team will be making a $250,000 social justice impact grant, which will be in addition to the $500,000 it had given already this year.

“I also call on NFL owners. They are in powerful, privileged positions and can make a huge difference and obviously have close relations with everybody and all their organizations. It’s time to make changes,” Murphy said.

“As an organization, we will continue to find ways to support the Black community because Black lives matter. Fighting racism is not an issue the Packers will shy away from.”