This changed for Ryan this summer when the Falcons held virtual meetings about Floyd’s murder. All hearing players, including Ellen, described instances of being racially introduced by the police, with Ryan believing that he could no longer sit idly.
“For our team, this was the third or fourth time talking about the same things,” Ryan said. “If we continue to have the same approach, and people continue to do what we are doing, then that is not going to work.”
In early June, ESPN wrote about Allen’s 2018 Trip to Selma, Ala.To visit the site of the 1965 civil rights march, Ryan called and had an uneasy conversation in what he said, asking how he should speak because he was unfamiliar with talking about race issues.
Alan told her to just be herself and speak from the heart.
“I’m from the hood and now live in the country club, but I can see how people don’t understand ‘what’s in the hood because they’ve never seen it,” Allen said of Ryan’s troubles .
“Matt and a swarm of other white peers hit me, and the main thing they tried to tell me is they don’t know the right thing to say,” Allen recalled.
At that point, Ryan’s community efforts focused on supporting children’s hospitals and boys ‘and girls’ clubs. Growing up outside of Philadelphia, Ryan had classmates and teammates of various backgrounds. But he did not face the harsh realities that Black teammates such as Allen regularly did.
“I think I’m lucky where I come from.” “Throughout my life, I have come to appreciate it even more because of knowing other situations that people have gone through. There are many things they had to overcome that I did not. “