In the wake of the Browns 37-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry tweeted out two words to his 379.2k followers on Twitter:
— Jarvis Juice Landry (@God_Son80) November 5, 2018
“It starts with us," Landry said Monday. "If you don’t vote you are really just putting it the hands of somebody else, who may not care about you or what you are going through or what is affecting your community and this nation.”
He is part of an era of sports figures living the mantra, “More than an athlete,” using their voices and promoting change in the world.
“We got to continue to use it, especially with our platform and using social media, using our names, using whatever it is to get our voice heard. People will listen,” Landry said.
As Election Day approaches, on Monday afternoon Landry recognized the loss to the Chiefs and the state of his team’s season. But just like he is more than an athlete, he explained there are more to his duties than playing in a game.
“Obviously this is our job, but also that everything that goes on with the voting process affects our lives as a whole. It is a part of it and its definitely something people should take seriously,” Landry said.
The primary purpose of the NFL is to organize and host football games, but thanks to the voices of its constituents, it’s inadvertently become a political playground. At times, athletes like former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee in protest to racial inequality and hate, have created controversy by using the NFL platform to contribute to national conversations. For Landry, his tweet and his message are far less divisive, as he does not promote his own views, but rather encourages his followers to act on their own.
“It is important to know that we affect the change and we have the responsibility. It is up to us to go vote, to put people in places that are going to make the right decisions for our future,” Landry said.
The daily message for the Browns is to “Go win,” but this week Landry will also “Go Vote.” Because while his job is to use his talent to change the narrative of his team, he believes it’s his responsibility is to use his reach to impact the world.