An American football star’s thoughts on the Ferguson riots have gone viral on Facebook, attracting nearly one million likes.
In Super Bowl-winning Benjamin Watson’s post, which has already been shared more than 400,000 times, the New Orleans Saints player writes: “After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down.”
Violent riots engulfed the American town of Ferguson, Missouri, once again following a Grand Jury’s decision not to indicate 28-year-old white police Darren Wilson over the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown in June of this year. Brown was unarmed at the time of the confrontation that led to his death.
“I’m angry,” the 33-year-old writes, “because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.”
Watson, a married father of four, continues he is also “embarrassed” by the looting and violence of the protests explaining these actions serve only to confirm and validate “the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.”
He extends his condolences to the family of Brown. The family have roundly condemned the Jury’s decision, but also called for protests to stay peaceful. Looting and riots were isolated in small pockets of Ferguson, with around 50 people arrested over the course of the week.
The athlete also voices sympathy for Wilson: “Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure.”
The officer recently gave an interview to ABC where he defended his actions.
Watson reminds readers: “I’m sympathetic because I wasn't there so I don't know exactly what happened.”
He adds there will always be a question hanging over the events.
He ends his post, which has received more than 700,00 likes, writing that he is “hopeful” and “encouraged” by the progress that he has seen in his lifetime, and his personal relationships compared to those of his parents and grandparents.
Thousands have commented online, many expressing their admiration for the football player’s words and adding their own thoughts on the tragedy.
Facebook user Debbie Cain Rivers wrote: “Your words are so insightful, wise, and thought provoking!”
Other users agreed. “This is probably the most eloquent expression of the situation that I've read,” added Daniel Shrader.
You can read Watson’s full post below:Reuse content