STUART, Fla. — Like many Americans across the country, Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons took place in a peaceful protest on Sunday in response to the death of George Floyd.
The Minnesota man died last week after video shows a police officer placed his knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes.
Before the march started in Stuart, Florida, near Simmons' hometown of Port Salerno, he spoke to a large crowd. Part of his speech was captured on video by his mother, Kimberly, who later posted it on social media.
"I hope everyone understands that we have come way too far," Simmons said. "We need to stick together. We need to be unity. This is why this is important. This means more to us than anything you can post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (and) we need to be united."
Simmons acknowledged it was great to see so many people out in the community, but for an unfortunate reason.
"While we're out here don't forget, it was said earlier, I'm sad we're here. But we need to make sure that we understand that we are fighting for equality, not superiority. All lives matter when black lives matter," Simmons said. "We pledge our allegiance to the flag for freedom and justice for all and we do not have our justice. So let's understand that. We will get it, (but) not by force."
The group marched across Roosevelt Bridge as a show of solidarity for black lives. WPTV reported protesters chanted "no justice, no peace" and "Black lives matter," during the event.
"Anyone that doesn't know who I am, my name is Justin Simmons. I'm a product of Port Salerno, Florida. I currently play in the NFL, but that is not who I am. I am a bi-racial human being. My dad is black, my mom is white, I understand the pain that both sides are dealing with. Racism is not one-sided, it goes all across the border," Simmons concluded. "I am here for equality, let's make sure we represent that today."