NFL Star Benjamin Watson’s Emotional Ferguson Response Goes Viral

“I’m angry because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes,” the New Orleans Saints tight end writes on Facebook

Following recent negative fallout surrounding some NFL stars, New Orleans Saints player Benjamin Watson struck an emotional chord on social media Tuesday when he posted his feelings about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, on his Facebook page.

“I’m angry because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes,” the 33-year-old athlete wrote. “I’m frustrated because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.”

The commentary from the Saints tight end — who was playing in a Monday Night Football game against the Atlanta Falcons when the decision was announced — took readers through the gamut of emotional reactions he had after a Grand Jury opted not to indict officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown. But instead of taking sides, he offered a variety of complex and sometimes even contradictory responses.

“I’m fearful because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a ‘threat’ to those who don’t know me,” Watson continued. “So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.

“I’m confused because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman,” he wrote. “You will not win! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.”

Watson, who was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2004 and joined the Saints in 2013, isn’t the only entertainer or Hollywood figure to speak out on Ferguson.

“Selma” director Ava DuVernay is a leading figure in a boycott called #BlackOutBlackFriday, which aims “to end violence against and the unjust killings of American citizens.”

Country music legend Garth Brooks, meanwhile, has canceled high profile appearances out of respect for the ongoing civil unrest. “To spend the day promoting our stuff like nothing was wrong, seemed distasteful to me,” he wrote, encouraging his followers to “love one another.”

Read Benjamin Watson’s entire Facebook post below:

At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:

I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.

I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.

I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.

I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.

I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.

I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.

I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.

I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.

I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.

I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.

I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.

I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.