After Cleveland Browns player Andrew Hawkins wore a shirt before Sunday’s game calling for justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford III, two black Ohioans killed by police, the head of Cleveland’s police union called him ‘pathetic’ and demanded an apology.
But when Hawkins addressed the media yesterday, he didn’t apologize. Instead, he delivered an impassioned speech defending his decision to wear the shirt and explaining why it was important for him to do so.
“I was taught that justice is a right that every American should have,” Hawkins, 28, told reporters Monday. “Also, justice should be the goal of every American. I think that’s what makes this country. To me, justice means the innocent should be found innocent. It means that those who do wrong should get their due punishment. Ultimately, it means fair treatment.
“So a call for justice shouldn’t offend or disrespect anybody. A call for justice shouldn’t warrant an apology.”