Stephen Weatherly: “All Black lives matter” not just famous ones

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[Stephen Weatherly]
Stephen Weatherly: “Yeah, I am going to wear a decal. The one I (will) wear is a variation of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and (I’ll) just put ‘All Black Lives Matter.’"
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Carolina Panthers Stephen Weatherly says all Black lives matter--not just famous Black lives.

As new Carolina Panthers defensive end Stephen Weatherly sees it: If you’re a Black man who happens to play in the NFL, then your life matters.

But what if you don’t play a professional sport, and you’re not a famous singer, and you didn’t grow up, as Weatherly said, holding either “a microphone or a ball”?

Your life matters, too, Weatherly said — but sometimes it doesn’t seem that way.

That’s why Weatherly wants to wear a decal on his helmet that says “All Black Lives Matter” this season. As part of a social justice initiative, the NFL is reportedly going to allow NFL players to wear decals on their helmets this year with a variety of messages, something similar to what NBA players are now doing on the backs of their jerseys.

Weatherly on Tuesday became the first Panthers player to declare he’ll wear one of the social justice decals, although he certainly won’t be the last. When I asked him about the idea and whether he would embrace it, Weatherly said:

“Yeah, I am going to wear a decal. The one I (will) wear is a variation of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and (I’ll) just put ‘All Black Lives Matter.’ Especially given my standing, like where I am in the community. Oftentimes when I meet with people, my life has been validated because of what I do — because I play for the Panthers and I’m a professional athlete.

“So people see value; see worth in me as an individual. But when people don’t know what I do for a living, I get treated differently.

“And it shouldn’t take what someone does, or when you learn who they are, for them to deserve to be treated fairly. And so that’s something that I definitely want to echo.

“And that’s a real thing that happens, that a lot of people in this world will see me and see what I do and think that I’m an amazing person or might give me value. But then my cousin, my mom, my brother, all aren’t (valued) — because they don’t do what I do for a living. So that’s why we’re a decal that says ‘All Black Lives Matter’ — not just the ones you root for.”

Read the rest of this Charlotte Observer story here:

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