Baltimore Ravens legend Ray Lewis spoke to George Floyd’s family earlier this week. Floyd was laid to rest on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, after he killed by Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin. Lewis shared some of the things he told the Floyd family during a virtual meeting with University of Maryland, Baltimore Interim President Dr. Bruce Jarrell.
“I told them that they are not alone. There are so many people across the world feeling so much pain and anger. People are frustrated of injustice, of what’s right. The color of your skin should not define who you are or what you do in life,” Lewis said. “I told George Floyd’s family that God don’t make mistakes. People have found their ways of doing what they want to do and evil finds even the strongest.”
The tragedy sparked protests and riots across the country. It took Lewis back to a time when he was a sophomore in high school in 1991 when Rodney King was brutally beaten by members of the Los Angeles Police Department. He said he remembered asking his mother why are black people treated differently. His mother’s inability to answer him other than to say, “the world wasn’t fair,” still resonates with Lewis today.
“This one here has bothered me froma different place,” Lewis said. “I’ve had sleepless nights because I think when you think about what’s happening, the thing I fear the most is our kids are experiencing things that even our parents can’t explain to them.
“People are just frustrated of injustice. The color of your skin should not define who you are or what you do in life. Our only way out of this is through love. We have to feel each other again. We have to love each other again. The question is: How do we replace all the pain, hurt, confusion, and injustice with love, hope, communication and integrity?”
The way that Floyd was killed stirs up emotions within any person with a conscience. Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s neck depriving him of oxygen while he was held on the ground in handcuffs. Two other officers also held him down and another officer stood guard as people watched the tragedy take place. This went on for almost nine minutes before Floyd took his last breath.
Floyd’s death has impacted the United States in a different way. More people are making their disgust known.
“It’s therapeutic to get that pain out,” Lewis said. “When you turn that pain into an open dialogue, you start to see change. Eventually, that pain becomes a vision. Then, that vision becomes a mission. That mission becomes your purpose. And that purpose becomes your destiny.”
You can’t tell people how to deal with these issues and if you’re a black man, you live it.
“My advice to the world is that our only way out is love,” Lewis said. “But we have to strategically put together the right connection to hold the people accountable.”