Anquan Boldin: Tom Brady's Support of Ahmaud Arbery Letter 'Very Significant'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2020

Former NFL player Anquan Boldin, speaks during a session to discuss criminal justice issues with other current and former NFL football players at Harvard Law School, Friday, March 23, 2018, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)
Josh Reynolds/Associated Press

Former NFL wideout and Players Coalition co-founder Anquan Boldin said it was "very significant" that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady signed the letter urging United States Attorney General William Barr to investigate the shooting death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.

Boldin made his comments during an appearance on Monday's First Take:

"I think it's very significant. Especially having Tom be a guy who hasn't been involved in politics at all. He's kinda stayed away from it. But it just goes to show that people are tired of this happening. We've seen it over and over again, and far too long, we've allowed it to go on and not speak out about it. So to have someone like Tom Brady sign the letter, it was very significant."

Anquan Boldin @AnquanBoldin

Today should've been Ahmaud Arbery's 26th birthday. Instead, our nation is mourning. Because of the local conflict of interest, @playercoalition, other athletes, and I are urging Attorney General Barr, to have the FBI and the DOJ investigate this tragic death. We need action. https://t.co/2qG8lih6A4

Arbery was shot and killed while he was jogging near his Georgia home. Video released last week showed 34-year-old Travis McMichael shooting Arbery. His father Greg McMichael—a former Glynn County police officer and prosecutorial investigator—was also on the video.

Both men were arrested on May 7 over two months after the incident occurred. Two district attorneys recused themselves from the case, with Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson citing Greg McMichael's 20 years working as an investigator in that office as the basis of her recusal. 

The McMichaels told police they believed Arbery had been responsible for burglaries in their neighborhood and chased him down in their truck while he was out jogging. Greg McMichael told police Arbery attacked his son and Travis responded by shooting Arbery.

They have been charged with murder and aggravated assault. Glynn County police Lt. Cheri Bashlor said only one robbery had been committed in that neighborhood in the prior seven weeks. Arbery's mom said he was simply out for a jog on the day he was shot and killed. 

Among the white athletes and coaches to sign the Players' Coalition to Attorney General Barr letter were New England Patriots players David Andrews, Julian Edelman and Ryan Izzo, free-agent quarterback Josh McCown, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy.

"A lot of them are afraid to say the wrong things," Boldin said of white athletes and coaches who aren't always vocal regarding race. "So that's why a lot of guys stay away from being in front of the cameras and speaking out about certain subjects. And honestly, they don't go through what we go through, but to say that they don't support us, that would be far from the truth."