The Broncos made their voices heard Saturday, speaking in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. All-Pro linebacker Von Miller, starting quarterback Drew Lock and head coach Vic Fangio were among many in attendance Saturday as the Broncos led a march from the state capital building to the Greek Amphitheatre in downtown Denver.
Justin Simmons was one of several players to take the microphone at Saturday’s march. “We are not here today as the Denver Broncos. I’m here today as Justin Simmons, a member of the Denver community,” said the fifth-year safety. “I’m not coming in here to preach about what we should do moving forward. I’m working in the same ways that you’re working in trying to find solutions and to better life for the black community.”
The Broncos took the stage with shirts distributed by 10-year veteran Kareem Jackson, which read, “If you ain’t with us, you against us.” Simmons, who spoke to the crowd assembled at Civic Center Park for over five minutes, advocated for peaceful protesting, pleading that no one resort to violence, even with tensions nearing an all-time high. “I understand the grief. I understand the pain. I’ve seen it. I’ve been a part of it,” offered Simmons, who led the Broncos with four interceptions last year. “I’m standing here today telling you hate does not drive out hate.”
Donning a “Justice for George Floyd” sweatshirt, Miller addressed the demonstrators with similar zeal, reminding all in attendance to use their “moral compass.” “The time is always right to do what’s right,” said the former Super Bowl MVP. “Black, white, it doesn’t matter. It’s 2020.”
The Broncos have been among the most vocal teams in supporting the black community, delivering a strong response when others stayed silent. “We’ve all heard people say that sports can be a much-needed distraction during such a challenging time,” Broncos GM John Elway expressed in a Twitter post Friday night. “I know that the players, our team and league can be so much more than that. We can all be part of the solution.”
Hopefully more teams will follow the Broncos’ lead by taking firm stances against social injustice, police brutality and the systemic racism that has plagued our country far too long.