Athletes across America are stepping up in an effort to end police brutality.
On Wednesday, the Players Coalition sent a letter to Congress in support of legislation that would end qualified immunity for police officers.
The Players Coalition, founded in 2017 by Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins, was formed with the goal of “making an impact on social justice and racial equality.”
Over 1,400 current and former players, coaches and executives signed the letter, including two current and 50 former Miami Dolphins players.
Allen Hurns and Kavon Frazier were the active Dolphins to sign, while some of the former Dolphins included Jarvis Landry, Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain.
Dolphins senior vice president Nat Moore also signed the letter.
The letter expressed support for legislation introduced by Representatives Justin Amash (Libertarian-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) calling for the end of qualified immunity, a judicially created doctrine that shields government officials from being held personally liable for constitutional violations for money damages under federal law so long as the officials did not violate “clearly established” law, per Lawfare.
The right to use excessive police force – similar to what happened to George Floyd and so many others – falls under qualified immunity.
“It is time for Congress to eliminate qualified immunity, and it can do so by passing the Amash-Pressley bill,” the letter stated. “When police officers kill an unarmed man, when they beat a woman, or when they shoot a child, the people of this country must have a way to hold them accountable in a court of law. And officers must know that if they act in such a manner, there will be repercussions.”
Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed Floyd, is facing second-degree murder charges.
“A legal system that does not provide such a recourse is an illegitimate one,” the letter continued. “In their grief, people have taken to the streets because for too long, their government has failed to protect them. The Courts and elected officials alike have instead shielded people who caused unspeakable harm. Congress must not be complicit in these injustices, and it should take this important step to show that law enforcement abuse will not be tolerated.”
Other high-profile players such as Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Carson Wentz also signed the letter.
Outside of football, Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors), Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs) and Alex Bregman (Houston Astros) signed the letter.