Matt Rhule: It's Time For A Fundamental Change

Jason Huber
June 03, 2020 - 12:36 pm

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has been a supporter of the much-needed and sometimes uncomfortable discourse, saying as a white male, he has taken the time to learn, listen and talk to his players and friends about the racial issues taking place following George Floyd’s death. 

"I can't shy away from this moment," Rhule said. "I don't think anyone can shy away from this moment. It is time for a fundamental change in our societies and time for a fundamental change in how we do things. I certainly don't have all the answers but as for me and how I do things." 

There have been protests five straight days in Charlotte since Floyd's death, much like many parts of the country.

Panthers players Tre Boston, Chris Manhertz, Shaq Thompson, Andre Smith and Ian Thomas joined some protests earlier in the week in a march from Freedom Park to Uptown.

"I wanna have a team full of men who know their purpose isn’t just to play football," Rhule said. "As a white man talking to Shaq Thompson, what's the best thing I can do? I can listen."

Rhule also added that the protests are only the beginning and there is much more to be done.

"It's important that we make statements, but it's important that those statements lead to discourse and that eventually leads to action," he said. 

Rhule said now is the time to put the fear aside and he will continue to be honest with his kids so they understand as much as they can of what is taking place. 

"History will look back at where we stood in this time," Rhule continued. "If you want to fix this, you can't fix this from one side. As a white man, sometimes it can be daunting to talk about issues like racism. To be quite honest, sometimes we can be fearful we say the wrong thing, but we have to step up." 

Time has shown that protests come and go until the next issue, but Rhule will do his part to make sure his players, family and friends will continue the conversation.

"I'm proud of our team. I'm proud of the guys who have used their voices to try and make a change," Rhule said. "We can't always make this huge fundamental change but we can try and make a small change. We can't look back in 10 years and say nothing great came from this."

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