The Pro Football Hall of Fame officially has eight new members.
One by one as everybody came up to talk to the crowd, each had their own message they wanted to relay to the crowd.
Legendary cornerback Champ Bailey decided to use his platform to speak on something that was near and dear to him and his community.
Bailey wanted to speak on race in America and asked White people to listen when Black people explain to them their fears of things happening to them in this country.
“I’m a firm believer that if you want to create change is to start with your friends and your family,” Bailey said. “We say this to all of our white friends: When we tell you about our fears, please listen. When we tell you we’re afraid for our kids, please listen. When we tell you there are many challenges we face because of the color of our skin, please listen. And please, do not get caught up in how the message is delivered.”
Bailey then encouraged everyone to start listening to each other.
“Most of us are athletes, but we’re black men first,” Bailey said. “Understand this, the things that make us great on the field — like our size and our aggression — are the same things that can get us killed off the field. I believe if we start listening, there’s no telling the progress we can make. If we can’t get our friends to listen, then no one will. To my black brothers, if you don’t have anything positive to say about our social challenges, please keep your mouth shut.”
Bailey was enshrined on Saturday alongside players that included Ed Reed, Tony Gonzalez and Kevin Mawae.
He was named to a record 12 Pro Bowls (for a defensive back) and made seven All-Pro Teams.