Randy Orton recently spoke to CBS Sports about his recent public support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Orton, who had previously criticized former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem, has changed his view on the protest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department.
“The Apex Predator” explained his about-face in the interview, saying:
When Kaepernick was kneeling, I looked at it as disrespecting the American flag and that he was disrespecting the servicemen and women who fight for our freedom and our free speech and come home in a coffin when they give the ultimate sacrifice. That coffin draped in an American flag. I think I went on Booker T’s radio show and even said those things and I believed them.
It took me a little time, but what I had to do was realize, Kaepernick, he wasn’t shitting on the flag. He wasn’t disrespecting the people that have given their lives for our freedom. He was taking a stand against police brutality. As a white guy, I don’t see it. But then I started listening to my black brothers and sisters, especially the ones I’ve known for years and some for more than a decade. I was hearing first-hand accounts of interactions with cops that took advantage of the situation and the power they had because they maybe felt a certain way about the color of someone’s skin. That’s when the lightbulb went off.
I’m embarrassed to say it, but it took me a little while but I get it. What I said on Twitter, I stand behind. If anyone doesn’t agree with me, I think they need to do more digging. Go look at Big E’s Twitter from a week ago, go look at Xavier Woods’ Twitter, go look at things Kofi said, that Mark Henry said, that Shelton said, that R-Truth said. If you read what they’re saying and try to put yourself in their shoes for even just a minute, you’re going to see right now that it’s not fair. All lives do matter, but like I said on Twitter, until black lives matter, all lives can’t matter. My only regret is that it took me a little bit and some soul searching to see that.
Orton tweeted “#BlackLivesMatter” on May 29th, which prompted an explanation after a fan criticized the show of support.
— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) May 29, 2020
“All lives DO matter,” the Viper tweeted in response, “but the point I was trying to make is that I finally realized that until [Black lives matter], they can’t. Get it?”
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