PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A local NFL star has been making a difference in his hometown for years, and now Brennan Scarlett’s Big Yard Foundation is planning a march Friday afternoon around his old neighborhood in northeast Portland.
FOX 12 had a Zoom conversation with the Houston Texans linebacker ahead of Friday’s Juneteenth celebration in the Rose City.
“I think this movement right now going on is long overdue,” Scarlett said.
Four seasons into his NFL career, Scarlett has been using his professional platform for good for years.
“Peaceful for one, just unify. Coming out under a common goal, a common moral ground that we want to be a better society,” he said.
Scarlett and his Big Yard Foundation have organized a march for Juneteenth in celebration of black lives.
“We’ll go from Peninsula Park in north Portland and we’ll take Rosa Parks, MLK, take Alberta and end at King’s school (Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary) to march through those historically black neighborhoods that have been gentrified and so much of that community that built that neighborhood, that has been displaced, I think it is going to be a very strong and powerful thing,” Scarlett said.
The group asks those who gather at Peninsula Park at 2:30 p.m. to wear masks and practice social distancing to then peacefully and non-violently march for change and growth.
“Literacy, creative resources, health and wellness, anti-displacement efforts, economic relief for the distressed black families,” Scarlett said.
“So much about the changes coming now, when people maybe can’t go to work, there are no distractions with sports for right now, people are focused on the Black Lives Matter movement which is something that has been a long time coming, if not now, when?” asked FOX 12’s Nick Krupke.
Scarlett answered, “Yeah, for sure. I think to be honest with you, I really think he has been divine intervention. When we are comfortable and everything is going all right, it’s very easy to overlook some of the issues going on because we are cruisin’. It’s like when I am out on the field and I am playing and I am fine, but as soon as I get that one little pebble in my cleat, you know something is wrong so with what is going on now, this COVID-19, we’ve got pebbles in our cleats, so we have really had to stop and look at the issues. And I think there is a reason why such awareness, such strong awareness has been raised around the Black Lives Matter movement. I think this is just a great time to get involved and to really make an impact.”
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