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Von Miller, Broncos help lead protest in Denver: ‘We gotta keep this going’

Von Miller, along with several other members of the Broncos, helped lead a protest in downtown Denver on Saturday afternoon nearly two weeks after George Floyd was killed in police custody.

Video of Floyd’s arrest, which showed a white Minneapolis police officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck while he yelled out, “I can’t breathe,” quickly went viral. All four officers involved in his arrest have since been arrested themselves.

Floyd’s death has sparked widespread protests in cities across the country in the days that followed.

“The time is always right to do what’s right,” Miller said, addressing a crowd of people near the state capitol. “Once we have awareness, we have to come up out of oblivion. We’ve got to always do what’s right. Like I said, once we have awareness, we’ve got to use our moral compass to make decisions on what’s right. Black, white, it doesn’t matter. It’s 2020. Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, we’re still fighting this fight, and it’s up to us to keep it going.”

The march came one day after Broncos president of operations and general manager John Elway finally released a statement about the incident. 

Elway promised on Twitter to keep learning and listening to his players, and said that he realized it was necessary for his voice to be part of the conversation in order to ensure real change does happen. 

His statement was significantly better than the first attempt by Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, who said he didn’t “see racism at all in the NFL.” Fangio apologized the following day.

“What I’ve heard from the players in particular — and watching the way they lead during this time of need — has been moving,” Elway said, in part. “I always thought that since I grew up in a locker room, I knew everything there was to know about understanding teammates from different backgrounds and walks of life. 

“What I’ve realized is that I could not have been more wrong … I am not going to stay on the sidelines. Everyone has a responsibility to help those who are hurting. I am joining with the players, coaches, and our organization in speaking up against racism, police brutality, and any injustice in the black community.”

Miller, an eight-time Pro Bowler set to enter his 10th season, wasn’t alone at the march on Saturday. 

Several of his teammates joined him, including quarterback Drew Lock, safeties Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson, linebacker Jerry Attaochu and more. Even president and CEO Joe Ellis joined them for a bit. 

“My teammates, they killed it up here,” Miller said. “I’m in the locker room with these guys each and every day. I’m proud of these guys. I’m proud of Denver. I’m proud of the state of Colorado. We gotta keep this going.”

Broncos linebacker Von Miller, center, joins his teammates at a protest in Denver over the death of George Floyd. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

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