Chris Duvall - portrait against black background - use only for special posts

In a personal essay, Portland Timbers defender Chris Duvall described what the last few weeks have been like. 

Particularly, Duvall said he’s heard from friends and acquaintances who are realizing what it’s like to be Black in America. They’ve asked questions and even apologized, as heightened awareness surfaces across the nation after George Floyd’s death. 

In one section of his essay, Duvall described how he’s experienced racism first-hand.

“Racism is the woman that makes a wrong turn on purpose if I walk behind her more than a block,” Duvall wrote. “Racism is the person who says I don’t act black because I enunciate my words and I smile a lot. Racism is going to a soccer tournament out-of-town and being refused service at an empty restaurant because they are ‘full’.”

As for emotions, tired was Duvall’s operative word. Not necessarily from a physical standpoint, but from witnessing injustices and inequality repeatedly unfold with few changes.

“Tired of white people trying to explain to ME what it means to be black,” Duvall said. “Tired of sympathetic questions that are proven disingenuous. Tired of being the outlet people go to as they convince themselves that they aren’t in need of growth. Tired of seeing people like me dying and knowing I could be next.”

For more from Duvall, who's made 103 regular-season appearances in MLS across four clubs, check out his entire essay here.