‘I want us to take action:’ Matt LaFleur on NFL’s role in addressing social justice

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GREEN BAY -- The national reaction to the death of George Floyd has also affected the world of sports.

On Thursday, a group of NFL players released a video critical of how the NFL handled their silent and peaceful protests from years back. On Friday, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur addressed it.

"What I want to happen, I want us to take action...really come up with things that we can do to make a change, to make it better for everyone in this country. And that is what needs to happen.

"Certainly I am much more aware of some of the issues that exist in this world. You look at what happened a few years ago and it is unfortunate how we handled some of that. We have got to move forward and we have got to do things the right way. And really listen. It is going to come back to that. And really listen. Come up with solutions. And the only way that we are going to do that is collectively as an entire country. Black, White, Hispanic. It really doesn't matter. We all have to fight these injustices together."

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LaFleur also believes that his team is coming closer together because of what is happening socially -- because everybody is listening and everybody is talking. He also added that he wants to be a big part of the change moving forward.

"We had met as a leadership council. We were just throwing around some ideas. What could we do that would be a little bit different than just releasing a statement or just something a little more powerful.

"Credit to the guys, they came up with this idea. Aaron Rodgers took the bull by the horns. Wrote a specific piece that we would all say at the beginning and the end. And then everybody in the middle kind of put their own story. There was a lot of meaning behind it, so certainly we will look at everything we do.

"I feel like in my heart I know that, and I told this to my team, I don't know what it's like to be a black man living in America. I don't try to pretend to know. But what I do try to do is listen, show empathy and I told the guys I am all in for what needs to be done to end racism, to end social injustice, to end the police brutality. Because I do believe that we are all equals."

LaFleur says he does not mind that football is on the back burner because of how important social change is to him and his team.

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