Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- Tennessee Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro is a veteran in the NFL and never afraid to speak his mind. On Friday, he began a Zoom interview session telling the media that he would not be talking about football this season.
While Vaccaro will play, he believes what happens off the field is also important. He might not answer questions related to the game, but he will talk about social injustice, systemic oppression, racism and police brutality.
“I’m really not going to talk football when I come into these meetings in light of recent events that have happened around the country. For me and my platform, my duty is to speak on things that are happening, and that’s just my stance. I’m just not going to talk football this year,” Vaccaro said.
This all comes a day after the Titans chose not to practice, instead the team came together to discuss how it can move forward to create change, after Jacob Blake was shot and paralyzed by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“I don’t think sitting out of practice is going to stop police from killing Black men. I don’t. I think sitting out of practice allowed us to get together, talk about a plan with our team and put that plan to action and not just skip practice and go home and just miss a day because of things that happened. We spent hours upon hours talking about different ideas and different things we can do,” added Vaccaro.
One of those ideas is shifting the focus to a specific age group, helping educate the younger generation.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel announced that the organization has already created ‘Zoom With A Titan,’ allowing players and kids in Middle Tennessee to have conversations, focused on creating positive change.
“Hate is taught, people aren’t brought up that way. Just educating, putting people on game. Like I said, influencing the youth. If somebody feels a certain way right now and they’re 40, 50, they’re not changing. The best thing we can do is have a lasting impact on our youth for future generations,” said Vaccaro.
Opening the eyes of everyone in the country isn’t realistic, but Vaccaro wants to at least use his platform to help people better understand right from wrong.
“There’s a right way to do things and there’s a wrong way to do things. I don’t care what color you are, what race, religion. There’s a right and wrong, and we can just use our platform as athletes to address that situation. I’m saying for 2020, I’ve taken that step that I want to speak out and help people.”