New York Giants baller Rashad Jennings hosted a much needed discussion with his teammates and New Jersey senator Cory Booker to discuss how to improve race relations and more. They even get into the controversial racial aspects of sports. Details inside…
Football isn’t the only thing important to New York Giants Runningback Rashad Jennings. He’s really big on education, race, and social issues that affect the black community. FYI – He launched the Rashad Jennings Foundation to help inspire youth by making education fun. He provides mentorship for individual success, and to promote health and fitness worldwide.
On Wednesday, the NFL running back hosted a “locker room” discussion -- what locker room talk actually looks like, ahem, Trump -- with New Jersey senator Cory Booker, his teammates (both black and white), head coach Ben McAdoo, and general manager Jerry Reese to discuss ways to improve race relations in America, inequality issues, and more.
Sen. Booker was tapped to speak where he presented facts and statistics on incarceration rates in minority communities and offered up ways for people to get more involved with tackling such issues.
"Once you hear the facts, not opinions ... right or wrong, the facts are the facts, and you want to make a difference in any way you possibly can," Jennings said. "Law is good, when it's accountable. Law needs to be enforced, but people need to be accountable for their actions."
Rashad, who has led much of the team’s internal discussion on the subject, called the closed door meeting an eye-opening experience. He said he hopes it will drive his teammates (and others) to get more involved in their communities. Sen. Booker remarked about how floored he was to receive the invite to come and help guide the men who are itching to make moves. Smart moves.
The NYTimes reports:
“We wanted somebody who can educate us and point us in the right direction in terms of the possibilities for us,” Jennings said. “We wanted to know the various things we could do.”
Jennings predicted that the meeting, which was closed to members of the news media but was recounted in detail by participants afterward, would lead more Giants to become socially engaged.
“There is nothing special about us; we’re just in a special position,” Jennings said. “We get to be a magnifying glass for things that are important. People will listen to the things we have to say, and we can generate conversation on issues.”
"This is not going to be a one-week fix," he said. "This is something that's a start and it may take time, but it's good to see that guys care. People truly care once they have the proper information, and are educated. If certain information is not privy to you, you're not aware, so it's hard to care. It's hard to make a difference. But once you're educated and when you have the facts, then you have more confidence in actually making a step to make a change."
Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas also chimed in after the discussion saying:
“[Cory Booker] did a good job of making us aware of the relevant issues that go way beyond what you see on social media,” said. “They are things we don’t really know or see. But those are the things that you do need to know if you’re going to make a plan to help make changes.”
“This meeting is going to be the catalyst for what’s going to happen next,” Casillas said. “And something is going to happen. As we learned today, sometimes these things can take time. So I don’t know when, but we’re all working on it. We’re all believing in our hearts that something has got to change. And it’s only right to get together like we did today and try to help make that happen.”
“We’ve been informed, and it’s new information that we needed,” he said, sitting in a players’ lounge adjacent to the team’s practice fields. “We can now collectively take that information into the locker room and have these kinds of conversations with the guys.
“And now we can pinpoint and target some things. We can’t do everything; we know that. But it’s a start to begin focusing in on some of the things we want to do from our locker room. Athletes can have a lot of power if they have conviction and are willing to take the appropriate steps after they speak.”
Gotta love ballers who are “woke” and putting in work to help make a change.
Photo: Katherine Taylor for The New York Times