Seattle Sounders midfielder Harry Shipp took to social media on Thursday to post a lengthy statement regarding white privilege, and the importance of athletes using their platforms to speak out on the issues of racial inequality and social injustice.
Shipp said that he feels as though his previous aversion to publicly speaking out was"part of the problem", recounting how he privately agreed with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who decided to peacefully protest by kneeling starting in 2016, but that he held off on saying so publicly. It's something Shipp said he's self-evaluated and is intent on changing, and that he hopes to see others do the same.
"I agreed with [Kaepernick] and all the other athletes who decided to kneel," Shipp wrote. "I ultimately decided to shy away publicly — rationalizing it by telling myself it would take attention away from our team. But I was part of the problem.
"By being able to label ourselves "not racist", we have been able to escape feelings of culpability — which leads many of us to either be blind to the systemic problem or blind to our own reluctance to fight that problem."
Read Shipp's full statement below.