On Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, Brandon Bye issued a powerful statement on racial injustice.
Bye’s words deserve to be heard in their entirety:
“Thanks for listening. First of all, I am sad, upset, and disappointed about all the things we keep seeing on the news. They are wild things and it’s sad to see that we have to keep seeing these things every day, most recently with Jacob Blake. I don’t have all the answers, but I will continue to educate myself on the topics that keep coming up in the news and people’s opinions. As professional athletes, I think we all have a platform and I will continue to use my platform to speak out about racial injustices that we see every day and that people have to go through in their communities. As a member of the Black Players for Change, we will continue to use our platform for the good of the platform. We will continue to have ongoing conversations to move forward these social inequities that we see. At the end of the day, we are all individuals in a society and we all have to take steps to push forward and make this place a better place for now and the future.”
Bye references Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot by police on Aug. 23, 2020. In reaction to this event, players in multiple leagues decided not to play their games. Five of the six MLS games that were scheduled for Aug. 26 were postponed.
“I think it’s important,” Bye answered when asked about the boycotts that occurred midweek. “I think that us all seeing what happened on Wednesday was a strong message. A message of unity, and a message of solidarity within all the leagues. From there, we definitely got people’s attention and how can we now use this attention, and this focus to start creating that change.”
Bye and the New England Revolution will face the New York Red Bulls tonight, but the decision to play shouldn’t distract from the movement for justice. Bye and the other members of the Black Players for Change will continue to strive to use their platform to move the country in a positive direction.
“I don’t think there’s a set in stone plan and I don’t think there should be at this time, but I think the conversation has now started and I think now people are listening,” Bye said.
Bye’s thoughts were important to hear during this time. His words and his experiences matter.
The final sentence from his opening statement is particularly moving, as it emphasizes the power of individuals. All people that believe in equality play a role in this movement.
As Bye says, “we all have to take steps to push forward and make this place a better place for now and the future.”