Cam Jordan: Black men feel targeted by police, and all people have to change that

The Saints defensive end grew up in Minneapolis


New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan was born in Minnesota and spent his early childhood there while his dad played NFL football with the Minnesota Vikings. He says he still has strong ties to his birthplace.

"My dad played in Minnesota for 13 years.  I was born in Minnesota... we still have family and friends back home."

The professional football player says watching events unfold in his hometown over the past week has been difficult.

George Floyd
"You have a whole set of raw emotions that have been following a long period of time.  It is not like this is something that just happened."

He says what he calls "Mr. Floyd's wrongful killing by the police" in Minneapolis is a symptom of a much bigger illness in society.

Jordan says watching the video of Floyd dying under the weight of white cops on top of him just demonstrated that plight.

"This is something that we as a people have faced for hundreds of years in terms of, just call it what it is, I feel like we are being targeted."

He says over and over again we see a very similar set of circumstances in America.

"That goes from the top of the country on down," Jordan said. "It is something that we have not overcome as a people."

Jordan insists people of all walks of life must join forces to change things.

"It is going to take the masses, it's not going to be solely the African America community that is going to garner the attention necessary," he pleaded. "It's going to take a multitude of different facets of people to come together and abolish this ideal, this notion that we are not all equal... this should be a time for us to come together."

George Floyd
He says the way people think and behave has to change.

"There is a target on an African American's back, especially an African American male... We clearly are seen as a threat. And when I say we, it is clearly Africa Americans, black men, men of color."

Jordan has two daughters and a son.  He says explaining the danger his son faces from police just because of the color of his skin is hard.

"That is the next level of how troublesome this is, to know that one day my beautiful four-year-old son Tank... he's huge... to then know what he is going to go through."

He says Tank is going to be a very big man, already on the top of the height and weight charts as a preschooler.

"To have to tell him time and time and over again to tell him, 'Do the right thing. Do everything the right way and go beyond your reason to let everybody know that you are not a threat just because you are who you are.'  That is going to be the toughest battle."

George Floyd
Jordan says that he does not support the riots in Minnesota and elsewhere.

"There is just so much emotion, so much raw emotion."

However, Jordan says it is a confusing time.  Stressing that police should be using their badge to actually serve and protect, not creating a tragic situation by killing a black man.

"The unfortunate killing of George Floyd is the culmination of a long time of people bringing all types of strong fears and emotions to the very brim."

Jordan says he supports peaceful protesting, but also notes that the riots have drawn more attention to the situation.

"There have been many a peaceful protest that have not garnered as much attention as this," Jordan noted.

He says while he does not condone vandalism, looting, arson and violence; there is also a message that is being told.

WARNING: Below video shows George Floyd die and contains language some may find offensive

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