USA: Sports stars call for an end to police immunity

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With unprecedented support from the three major professional sports leagues, the multi-star American Players Coalition submitted a letter to Congress Wednesday morning to support the passage of the Amash-Pressley bill, which would end qualified immunity for police and other government officials.

In the United States, more than 1,400 players, coaches, and executives signed their names to the letter, including NFL stars Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Odell Beckham, and NBA coaches Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr.

Coalition said passing bill would help restore public confidence in government by ending qualified immunity for state and local officials, including police, who violate constitutional rights “Clearly established” citizens.

“We are tired of the fruitless discussions of police responsibility and have taken part in too much debate to determine whether there is a problem of police violence in this country,” said the athletes.

“There is a problem. The world witnessed this when police officer Chauvin murdered George Floyd and the world continues to observe this problem now that law enforcement is deploying a huge presence before peaceful demonstrators, such as those who stood outside the White House last week, “they continue. “The time for debating the uncontrolled police authority is over. Now is the time for change.”

The Coalition has come a long way since 2016 when the organization’s roots were formed with five NFL players traveling to Capitol Hill to discuss racial inequality and criminal justice reform with lawmakers.

In the four years since the initiative has won countless supporters in the three main professional sports leagues, many of them seeking to combat systemic racism and police brutality against people of color, most recently after the murder of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.