The Broncos added decals to their helmets ahead of the start of the regular season to honor victims of racism and police brutality and support social justice initiatives.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the 2020 season begins, dozens of Broncos players will take the field on Monday night with decals on their helmets to honor victims of police brutality and racism and to spread messages to combat racism.
"I think it's huge," Jurrell Casey said on Sept. 3. "We support all kinds of causes in the NFL. We do the Salute [to Service] week. We do the breast cancer week. We do a raise awareness week. It's something that we already do in the NFL which is great. They allow us to voice our opinions, voice our feelings out there. This extra step now this year with us being able to wear decals, it's just another step in the right direction to make sure we influence change inside this world."
Many players opted to honor victims of police brutality, including George Floyd, Elijah McClain and Breonna Taylor.
Floyd was killed when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest in May. His death, as well as Taylor's, sparked protests around the United States and in many other countries. Broncos players participated in a march in June in downtown Denver to lend their voices and show their support for the fight against police brutality and the cause for racial justice.
A dozen players chose to spotlight the case of McClain, whose death at the hands of Aurora police officers in 2019 has gained national attention in recent months. McClain was not suspected of a crime when police detained him, and after an altercation, police placed him in a chokehold that caused him to lose consciousness. When paramedics arrived, they injected him with ketamine. He went into cardiac arrest en route to the hospital and died less than a week after the initial altercation. Federal, state and city investigations have been opened into the incident and the police department's practices.
Nine players, including safeties Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson, picked to honor Breonna Taylor. In March, Taylor was killed by Louisville, Kentucky, police during the execution of a search warrant for her apartment, though she was not the target of the investigation. One of the officers has been fired, but none have been arrested or charged.
Kansas City native De'Vante Bausby selected a high-school classmate, Cameron Lamb, who was shot and killed by a Kansas City police officer in 2019. A grand jury indicted the officer in June on charges of involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.
Defensive back Kevin Toliver II, who grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, also chose to remember a victim from his hometown. In 2012, 17-year-old Jordan Davis was murdered in a parking lot by a white man after an argument over loud music. The man who shot and killed Davis was convicted on first-degree murder charges in 2014.
Selections for participating players on the active roster and practice squad are listed below.
Note: List accurate as of Sept. 8; players are able to change their selection. Names that were still under consideration as of this date are not included here.
|McTelvin Agim||Elijah McClain|
|Calvin Anderson||Breonna Taylor|
|Jeremiah Attaochu||End Racism|
|Essang Bassey||Breonna Taylor|
|Andrew Beck||It Takes All of Us|
|Jacob Bobenmoyer||It Takes All of Us|
|Garett Bolles||Elijah McClain|
|A.J. Bouye||End Racism|
|Bryce Callahan||Stop Hate|
|Jurrell Casey||Black Lives Matter|
|Bradley Chubb||Elijah McClain|
|Tyrie Cleveland||Black Lives Matter|
|Lloyd Cushenberry III||Black Lives Matter|
|Duke Dawson Jr.||It Takes All of Us|
|Jeff Driskel||Stop Hate|
|Noah Fant||Black Lives Matter|
|Austin Fort||Stop Hate|
|Royce Freeman||Breonna Taylor|
|Graham Glasgow||It Takes All of Us|
|Melvin Gordon III||Black Lives Matter|
|DaeSean Hamilton||Elijah McClain|
|KJ Hamler||Breonna Taylor|
|Jonathan Harris||Black Lives Matter|
|Shelby Harris||Elijah McClain|
|Kareem Jackson||Breonna Taylor|
|Jerry Jeudy||Stop Hate|
|Josey Jewell||It Takes All of Us|
|Dre'Mont Jones||It Takes All of Us|
|Phillip Lindsay||Elijah McClain|
|Drew Lock||Stop Hate|
|Trey Marshall||Black Lives Matter|
|Sam Martin||It Takes All of Us|
|Brandon McManus||It Takes All of Us|
|Von Miller||Breonna Taylor|
|Michael Ojemudia||Elijah McClain|
|Albert Okwuegbunam||Elijah McClain|
|Tim Patrick||Elijah McClain|
|Mike Purcell||End Racism|
|Malik Reed||Breonna Taylor|
|Dalton Risner||It Takes All of Us|
|Austin Schlottmann||Stop Hate|
|Justin Simmons||Breonna Taylor|
|Diontae Spencer||Black Lives Matter|
|Justin Strnad||It Takes All of Us|
|Courtland Sutton||Elijah McClain|
|Nick Vannett||George Floyd|
|DeMarcus Walker||Black Lives Matter|
|Elijah Wilkinson||Elijah McClain|
|De'Vante Bausby||Cameron Lamb|
|Trinity Benson||Black Lives Matter|
|Fred Brown||Black Lives Matter|
|Jeremy Cox||Black Lives Matter|
|Alijah Holder||Elijah McClain|
|P.J. Locke||Stop Hate|
|Patrick Morris||George Floyd|
|Jake Rodgers||Stop Hate|
|Brett Rypien||It Takes All of Us|
|Kevin Toliver II||Jordan Davis|
|Derrek Tuszka||It Takes All of Us|
|Josh Watson||Breonna Taylor|