The families of Botham Jean, Antwon Rose and Danroy Henry know the trauma of police violence all too well. Each has had a young Black man suddenly snatched from them as a result of police shootings.
In their next steps toward justice, the families are joining the NFL and Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation for its “Inspire Change” initiative.
According to the league’s website, the program works to showcase how the NFL, its owners and its players “work together to create positive change in communities across America.” One of its main areas of focus tackles the issue of police brutality.
ABC’s “The View” welcomed Angella Henry, Alissa Findley and Michelle Kenney to the show Tuesday to discuss their decision to take part in the initiative. As part of the push, the NFL released a PSA earlier this month centered on Botham Jean, Findley’s brother.
Jean, 26, was fatally shot by an off-duty Dallas police officer in his apartment in 2018. Then-officer Amber Guyger, who claims she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own and thought he was an intruder, is now serving a 10-year sentence for his murder.
“View” co-host Sunny Hostin mentioned the controversy surrounding ex-NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who drew criticism when he started kneeling during the national anthem to protest the very issue of police violence. A vocal Hostin said she felt the NFL was only using the new “Inspire Change” initiative to “give themselves cover” and “using good families to do it” after allegedly blackballing Kaepernick from playing in the league.
“How do you respond to that?” she asked the women.
“I’m a Kaepernick fanatic,” said Kenney, the mom of Antwon Rose Jr., who was fatally shot by police in 2018. “I was a Kap fan way before he took the knee, and I will forever be grateful for him opening this conversation.”
“But Antwon is my son,” she continued, “so when you get a call from Roc Nation and the NFL and they say, ‘we want to take your platform to the next level, we don’t want anything from you, and we have a plan,’ I have to remember that Antwon is my son. So I’m all in.”
Findley, Jean’s sister, credited Kaepernick with starting a broader conversation.
“With Roc Nation and the NFL, they’re now taking another step,” she added. “It doesn’t end here with Roc Nation and the NFL. We’re looking for anyone with a platform to keep this conversation going so that we can come up with the resolution.”
Danroy “Danny” Henry’s mother, Angella Henry, also weighed in. Her son was gunned down by an officer in Mount Pleasant, New York, while sitting in his car after a college football game in 2010. In her mind, she, Kaepernick and the other families are all working to accomplish the same goal: raising awareness about police brutality.
“We’re doing the same thing, and with the reach of both the NFL and Roc Nation, and being here on ‘The View,’ we’re reaching even more people that may not know our stories,” she said, “and now they do.”
Watch more in the video below.