Acho: 'Get Educated' On Racial Injustice, Inequality

"White people still don't understand why black people are upset," Sam Acho says.

Dan Bernstein Show
June 01, 2020 - 11:56 am

(670 The Score) When then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem of NFL games in 2016, raising awareness for issues of racial inequality and police brutality, he had support from then-Bears linebacker Sam Acho.

Kaepernick was conducting a brief, peaceful protest that was deemed controversial by some. He hasn't played on an NFL roster since 2016, and his keeling is considered the reason why.

To this day, Acho's respect toward Kaepernick remains as strong as ever. All along, players like Acho recognized the reason behind Kaepernick's movement. Now, as protests occur throughout American cities in the wake of George Floyd's death, Acho wishes Kaepernick's protests were recognized then. 

"It wasn't just the NFL," Acho said on the Dan Bernstein Show on Monday. "It was also a large number of the American people, specifically a large number of white people. Not all white people. A large number of American people (suggested), 'Well, hey, Colin, that's not the right way to protest.' 

"The bigger issue is that if somebody who's being oppressed or is representing people who have no voice or are being oppressed and is protesting, they're protesting for a reason. You can't tell them how they should and shouldn't protest. That's not only the NFL, that's anybody.

"Anybody who's more angry about the riots than they are about the murders of George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery, that's putting more to the issue that we have."

The 31-year-old Acho is a nine-year NFL veteran linebacker who played four seasons with the Bears from 2015-'18 and then for the Buccaneers in 2019. While he's currently a free agent, he's considered one of the more prominent player voices in the game.

Acho's hope is that people of all races and backgrounds can educate themselves on the struggles of racial inequality and use that platform to grow.

"Get educated," Acho said. "Learn about American history through African-American lengths so that you can get to step two, which is empathize. The reason that black people are hurting so much is not only the consistent, unnecessary, uncalled-for murders of black men in America, but also it seems that white people still don't understand why black people are upset.

"Number three, get to know your neighbor ... Get to know people who don't look like you."