In a crowded field of 23 Democratic presidential candidates, Mayor Wayne Messam, who has low name identification, stands out as the only former NFL draft pick. Messam told Bold TV he thinks there is room for peaceful activism in sports that doesn’t take away from police valor.
Messam is the mayor of Miramar, Florida, with a population of over 140,000. He said unifying a country divided by athlete protests includes the ability of the media to call out individuals who try to “muddy the waters” and further polarization.
“I support individuals in their right to free speech,” Messam told Bold TV. “We have to deal with injustices in this country, and to deal with injustice does not take away from the valor of those who defend us every day. As a mayor of a major police agency in the city of Miramar, I had the wonderful opportunity to swear in our officers. We celebrate our officers. There are way more good officers that do so much for our country. There are so many veterans, so many active duty military individuals that fight day in and day out to keep us safe, and we celebrate that. So, we should not let anyone muddy the water and we should rid ourselves of anyone that does any injustice unto anyone and we should be free to speak about that.”
“As a former athlete myself, it’s a unique ability to have a platform to be able to bring a voice to those who don’t have a voice. I support activism in your own peaceful way and I know it’s been blown out of proportion, but if someone wants to shed light on injustices in our country by kneeling, I think they should have the freedom of speech and the right to be able to do that,” Messam said. “I think that anyone, anyone who wants to muzzle the voice of — whether it’s an athlete or an average everyday American that wants to make this country a more perfect union — needs to check themselves to see why would they want to stop or alienate the ability of someone to be able to bring or shed light on issues of injustice in this country.”
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Photo Credit: Wayne Messam & Flikr