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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Sharrif Floyd wants fellow athletes to also speak out on social issues

By Andrew Krammer

If you talk to Sharrif Floyd, or simply follow him on Twitter, you’ll get a feeling football is just something in which he’s supremely talented.

There’s more to life, Floyd says.

A Philadelphia native, Floyd became one of the city’s most promising athletes in years despite being abused as a child. He’s risen from five-star recruit to NFL first-round pick to starter in the Vikings’ rebuilt defense under head coach Mike Zimmer.

Floyd has shared his story in an effort to help others and recently made a few statements calling for change the morning after Philando Castile, a black man, was shot and killed by a white Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop last week.

“It’s wise to show who we are as individuals,” Floyd recently told SECCountry.com at Nike’s annual football camp in Oregon. “We have hearts, too. We’re pegged as superstars or celebrities, but none of that truly matters when stuff like this starts happening.”

Floyd, 25, isn’t alone among Minnesota professional athletes to speak out after recent shooting deaths of two black men by white police officers, including Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, followed by the deaths of five police officers by a black sniper in Dallas.

On Saturday, Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx wore warm-up shirts with the message “Change Starts With Us.” On the back, the names of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and the shield of the Dallas Police Department were featured above the words Black Lives Matter.

“A lot of people want us to shut up and not say anything,” Floyd said, via SECCountry.com. “But I think we’re passed that era now. It’s time for us to speak up and start talking. A lot of people look up to us and listen to what we say.

“I was surprised the more I started tweeting how many people talked back and responded to me intelligently. They weren’t just jerks about it. Those kind of conversations are needed.”

The post Sharrif Floyd wants fellow athletes to also speak out on social issues appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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