‘Racism is the issue’: Tampa athletes take part in #BlackoutTuesday



TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A display of darkness descended on the world of social media Tuesday morning for “Blackout Tuesday.” The message is one of solidarity, joining together to protest racism and, in the case of George Floyd and countless other black citizens, brutality at the hands of police officers.

The movement, which originated in the music industry, is being shared by seemingly every individual across every platform.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization and players are participating too.

Dare Ogunbowale, a running back entering his third season with the Buccaneers, added a caption to his post on Instagram, “be together.”

He also shared his frustrations on Twitter.

“At this point, don’t put it out if you’re not saying the issue. Racism is the issue,” he wrote. “Black people feeling unsafe due to racism is the issue. Say it or don’t say anything.”

Tom Brady put a praying hands emoji beneath his post of a black tile on Instagram.

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Cameron Brate, Lavonte David, Carlton Davis, Chris Godwin, Ryan Griffin, O.J. Howard, Scotty Miller, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Donovan Smith and Shaquil Barrett are some of the other Buccaneers who posted a black tile to their Instagram accounts on Tuesday morning.

On the college level, USF’s head football coach Jeff Scott also posted the black image on Twitter.

Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays did it too with the hashtag “blackouttuesday.”

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Tampa Bay Lightning Captain Steven Stamkos shared his thoughts on Twitter starting with, “I have watched, I have listened and now I am ready to speak.”

He said he has watched the peaceful demonstrations and he has also watched the riots.

“I certainly don’t approve of those actions, but as many of YOU have opened my eyes to, I see that these actions may be coming from real pain and suffering. I can at least try to comprehend that,” he said.

Stamkos admitted he cannot fully understand how it feels to be targeted because of the color of your skin but he said he is willing to try to understand it.

“I will never be able to truly feel the pain and suffering that all men and women of color feel,” he wrote, “but I will continue to further educate myself on the real issue of racism, so I can help my community, my friends, my family and my son, much like my parents did for me. I encourage people to speak out on this issue.”

The issue, as Ogunbowale stated, is racism.


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