Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians took time to speak with the media about football and the ongoing protests happening across the country. In this posting, we will share the thoughts Arians communicated about the social unrest, including his thoughts on how things have changed - or haven’t - during his years of life.
“It’s sickening,” Arians said. “We all know when we see something that’s horrific and wrong. The events, especially the last three events, are wrong. They’re murders. Hopefully justice will be served, quickly. There are times when I think we haven’t made any progress since 1968 when the National Guard was (on the streets) of my hometown, and watching what went on then.”
Arians also pointed out as hard as it might be to see improvements our society has made since 1968, there have been some. However, these most recent events have once again led to protests across the country speaking out about police brutality and injustice along racial and class lines. Something the head coach also recognized, saying,
“Right now, I love the fact that people are upset and are raising their voices, but don’t stop. It’s one thing to march and protest, but it’s another thing to take action, and when the protesting’s over I would urge everybody to take action. Do something positive to help the situation. Don’t just go back to being silent because then it’s going to happen again.”
Along with the public unrest there have been plenty of athletes and sports organizations getting involved with spreading a message of unity and change. Something made more difficult during times where the country is also still dealing with COVID-19 protocols.
“As an organization we’ve done a great job with our social justice program started in 2018, and I know the guys Ali, Donovan, Bradley and Carlton who are on that board, are reaching out to all our players to have conversations and see what - as a group - they can do to help situations.”
Arians continued, “For me personally, it’s so much easier when it’s face to face obviously. I’ve talked to some of our young guys and some of our veterans, and hopefully when we get back together we will have some answers on what we can do to continue to improve the situation.”
Lastly, before turning the conversation to football, Arians shared some thoughts about his personal experiences and how he sees what’s happening today.
“It’s very disheartening. Like I said, growing up in it and being a part of it personally, you would hope that we would not be in 2020 still dealing with these issues. We would have hoped as a nation to have grown since 1968. I think we have, but not enough obviously.”
Arians said he’s been researching for more he could do personally, and told us he found the site joincampaign.org, and has since joined and shared the site with Tampa Bay Buccaneers players.
“The other thing that just sickens me is there were over twenty children killed at the hands of people looking after them last month,” Arians said. “That hasn’t changed enough either. Child abuse is something that’s still rampant. Prejudice and social injustice is still - there’s so much more to do and that’s not getting done.”
Those familiar with Arians are likely also familiar with the work he and his family do through the Arians Family Foundation aiming to help prevent child abuse and neglect.
These two causes are near and dear to the head coach’s heart, and as hard as it is at times to pick up emotions through conference calls, Arians certainly appeared to be feeling the impact of the topics at hand.
As he and the Buccaneers organization continue to look for ways to help, Bucs Nation readers who also feel inspired to do so can, by visiting either of the sites mentioned in this writing or through many other organizations across the country.
Arians did talk football with the media as well, so keep an eye turned to BucsNation.com for more on that, coming shortly.