By Perry Green, AFRO Sports Editor
Former star receiver Randy Moss was one of a small handful of legendary NFL players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend. But Moss chose to make the moment about more than just his personal football legacy.
Along with his new standard gold jacket that all Hall of Fame members earn upon induction, Moss also wore a black tie that had 13 names of Black people who were killed by police, stitched in gold lettering.
Former NFL player Randy Moss poses with a bust of himself during an induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Some of the names seen stitched on his tie included Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy from Cleveland shot dead by police while holding an airsoft gun; Eric Garner, a 43-year-old New York man choked to death while police attempted to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes; Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore man who died of injuries sustained in the back of a police van; and Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Florida teenager, shot dead by a neighborhood watchman. Other names stitched on the tie included Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Brendon Glenn, Akiel Denkins, Walter Scott, Paul O’Neal, Akai Gurley, and Greg Gunn.
Moss didn’t mention any of the victim’s names during his ceremonial acceptance speech, but he did say why he wore the tie during an NFL Network broadcast after the induction ceremony.
“What I wanted to be able to express with my tie was to let these families know that they’re not alone,” Moss said, when asked about the tie by NFL Network anchor Rich Eison.
Moss went on to explain how he felt compelled to use a platform like the Pro Football Hall of Fame to point out the fight against racism and social injustices in the U.S.
“I’m not here voicing, but by these names on my tie, with a big platform as the NFL Hall of Fame, there’s a lot things going on in our country,” Moss said. “I just wanted to let these families know that they’re not alone.”