The tie Randy Moss chose to wear to his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame spoke volumes.
The star wide receiver-turned-NFL analyst for ESPN was one of eight new members welcomed into the Hall of Fame on Saturday. On the big day Moss chose to make a powerful statement with his tie, which displayed the names of 12 black men and women who were killed by police.
The tie featured the names Greg Gunn, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Paul O’Neal, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Sandra Bland, Akiel Denkins, Alton Sterling, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin, in gold lettering.
Trayvon Martin’s name is also included on the bottom, but could not be seen in the photo
â Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 5, 2018
According to SBNation, though Moss did not address the tie during his Hall of Fame speech, he touched upon his decision to wear it in an interview with the NFL Network.Â
“What I wanted to express with my tie was to let these families know they’re not alone. I’m not here voicing, but by having these names on my tie, in a big platform like the Pro Football Hall of Fame, there’s a lot of stuff going on in our country and I just wanted these family members to know they’re not alone,” Moss reportedly said.
Former linebacker Ray Lewis, however, was very vocal during his Hall of Fame speech, delivering a 33-minute-long plea about the importance of speaking up and taking on leadership roles in America.
“We need people that are willing to step up and take action,” Lewis said. “We can go from being legends to building a legacy bigger than football, bigger than sports.”
NFL players publicly addressing police brutality has been a controversial topic ever since Colin Kaepernick, a former quarterback who’s been ousted from the NFL for two years now, began kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality and racism in America.
Since Kaepernick first kneeled, other players joined in solidarity by kneeling, linking arms, raising fists, and even remaining in locker rooms during the National Anthem, until new rules were implemented by the NFL. (Those rules are currently on hold, pending further discussion.)
The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – canât believe it! Isnât it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!
â Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
President Trump continues to condemn National Anthem protests on Twitter, willfully overlooking the intent of the act by framing it as a show of disrespect toward’s America’s troops. But as the conversation about police brutality and the right to peacefully protest continues, big names like Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, and more, have made it known they agree with the protesting players.
In addition to Moss and Lewis, Brian Dawkins, Brian Urlacher, Terrell Owens, Jerry Kramer, Bobby Beathard, and Robert Brazile were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday.