A group of activist NFL players urged members of the public to vote in US midterm elections on Monday, describing the ballot as a chance to make a “moral statement” about the state of the nation.
In a joint letter released on The Players’ Tribune website, the players said recent deadly shootings reflected a national identity of “pain and despair, of confusion and anger.”
“We are fractured, we are hurting and too many are finding themselves as mourners,” the letter read. “But America’s true identity is one of greatness.
“On November 6, we can return to that place. We can raise our voice and remind our officials and each other that we are more than the hate we have seen.
“With our vote, we can say that we believe in and are committed to the happiness, the health and the lives of all Americans.”
The four signatories of the letter — Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles, Kelvin Beachum of the New York Jets, the Washington Redskins’ Josh Norman, and 10-year NFL veteran Matt Forte — are all members of the Players Coalition group.
The Players Coalition is a non-profit which seeks to impact social and racial inequality.
Although the letter did not urge voters to vote for candidates of a particular party, NFL players have been at loggerheads with US President Donald Trump over the past year.
Trump triggered protests across the NFL last season after describing players who kneeled during the US national anthem to draw attention to racial and social injustice as “sons of bitches” who should be fired.