Justin Forsett calls on U.S. to 'rise up together' in wake of shootings

ByJamison Hensley via ESPN logo
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett publicly spoke out about recent violence in the United States, saying that it's time to unite during "a dark time for our country."

Forsett's 619-word blog post was spurred by recent shootings in Baton Rouge, Dallas and Falcon Heights, Minnesota.

"I'm tired of seeing dead bodies," Forsett said. "We are seeing it so often, but that doesn't mean we can become callous to it. As a black male with two black sons, this is scary. My boys are going to grow up and I'm not always going to be with them. I want their encounter with police to be different than what I am seeing on TV right now."

Forsett added, "I see people that look like me dying left and right these past few months -- whether that's by crime or police -- and my heart grieves over that ... just like it grieves when I see police officers gunned down in acts of senseless violence. I will never get used to this, and I won't let my heart get callous to it. I want to be part of the solution."

This isn't the first time Forsett has voiced his concerns about a national issue. Five months ago, he was one of the more outspoken athletes during the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Now, in a post published Tuesday, Forsett is advocating for the country to come together regardless of skin color, gender or occupation. He is also encouraging "some uncomfortable dialogue."

"We don't have to agree with each other's points of view, but we do have to agree that there's only one race -- the human race," Forsett said. "Once we can all agree with that, true change will happen."

He believes there needs to be improved communication between police and communities. He feels the relationship has to be based on trust and respect.

Forsett, who grew up in the South, remembers the police having meetings by his church. He can recall his grandmother always waving to police officers and how she knew them by name.

"This a dark time for our country. Let's rise up together," Forsett said. "Let's serve each other, come together and unite. Let's go out and be the light that can make a difference."