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‘Life isn’t Fair’: El Paso native and NFL star Aaron Jones speaks out on social injustice as a new father

Aaron Jones Green Bay Packers
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images via CNN
Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers.

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin -- El Paso native and Green Bay Packers star running back Aaron Jones is speaking out on social injustice after becoming a new father just two months ago.

In an essay written for the Players’ Tribune entitled "Two Fathers," Jones said having a baby followed by seeing the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police has changed his outlook on life.

Jones worries about his son's future, saying he doesn’t want the boy "to grow up in an America that’s the way it is today, where the world’s not on his side.”

The NFL great and former UTEP standout recalled a conversation his own father had with him as a child.

“My dad told me then (and many times after) that life isn’t fair, and that an African-American man has to work a little bit harder — and be a little bit nicer — in order to be treated like he should be treated all the time, like a normal human being," Jones explained. "He taught me to believe in myself. He showed me how a man’s supposed to be a man.”

Jones wrote that he now has a greater understanding of those childgood conversations with his father.

"I see why he had a fear like that could be me one day, and he might get old without a son, or my son could grow up without a father," Jones explained.

For the sake of his son and other Black children, Jones said "it's a cycle that has to stop. In America, it’s like you’re born at a disadvantage if you’re Black. And that’s sad."

He went on to observe: "Just because my skin color is different from yours doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to do the same things that you do. It doesn’t mean that my son shouldn’t feel safe when he leaves the house."

Jones said there have been important conversations taking place among his coaches and teammates about the current racial tensions across America and about past protests in the NFL over social injustice.

"I appreciate them being open, because fixing this problem has to start in everybody’s heart. You have to look past color," he said. "We knew that the kneeling protest was never about the flag. We knew it was about inequality."

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Jim Parker

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