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Black and white voices heard in Bears meeting


The team unity that Matt Nagy has instilled in the Bears locker room since he became head coach in 2018 was never more apparent than last Monday.

During an emotional two-hour video meeting, all voices were heard as Bears players and coaches candidly discussed George Floyd's death as well as racial injustice and police brutality.

"One thing that I thought was brought up that was really important and neat to see was some of our black players asking and looking for opinions of the white players and listening to their views, too," Nagy said. "They didn't want this to turn into something where this is only black players that speak, and it wasn't that. That's what was so cool."

Nagy was happy but not in the least bit surprised that his players displayed an "all for one, one for all" mentality during the call.

"When I talk about the word 'love' and how that was used between white and black on that Zoom call, that's the powerful, that's the raw," Nagy said. "Hearing the opinions of where some of the white players stand, I think that was something that I thought was impressive to see that they want it, and then vice versa.

"You just feel it and you understand the significance of 'love.' That word does not get used enough in this world. Love. And so I'm going to make it my own mission to use it more, to show it more, and in our world of the NFL—big, tough guys—it's just unconditional, and I think it goes a long way. At the end of that meeting on Monday, I felt that there was love in that room."

Both black and white Bears players alike have made powerful statements about the situation involving George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer May 25. Linebacker Danny Trevathan, for one, appreciates the support from his white teammates.

"I have yet to meet Nick Foles, but just to see his aspect of him speaking up, that made he feel like this is a guy I'd go to war for, this is a guy I want to fight for," Trevathan said. "We have plenty of people speaking up: Mitch [Trubisky], Cody [Whitehair], Pat O'Donnell. And it's not easy because they have a different voice than the voice I have. It's reaching different areas.

"Just to see that makes me care for them and makes me want to, I don't want to say go to war with them, but fight on the field with my brothers."

Foles posted a message on Twitter May 31, offering his condolences and prayers to Floyd's family and expressing how much he enjoys playing football "with men from all different backgrounds and races." He also wrote that "the beautiful thing about playing football has been the diversity within the locker room. Men come together to achieve the common goal of winning games no matter what their background. To do that they must love one another, genuinely. It becomes a real brotherhood."

Trubisky, meanwhile, posted a black box on his Instagram page last week during "Blackout Tuesday" with a message that read in part: "Throughout my life I've been blessed to share the field and locker room with countless black men. These men and teammates have become family to me. Although I could never understand what they have to experience, I empathize with them and love them like brothers. I stand with my brothers and sisters in the fight against racial injustices. We need to do more. We must do better. Posts, tweets and statements aren't enough. We need to take action …"