Nate Burleson Says Social Justice Conversation Must Become Action


In the words of the famous Elvis Presley song, “a little less conversation, a little more action.” Nate Burleson, Co-host of Good Morning Football and CBS’ “NFL Today” echoed that statement today. He sees and hears a lot of people in this country saying all the right things about social justice, but declared those statements pointless if it doesn’t then lead to actual substantive action against systemic racism.

The former NFL 11 year veteran wide receiver, now an analyst for CBS, discussed the Black Lives Matter movement and all that it stands on the pregame shows this morning.

“I have conversation with Calais Campbell of the Baltimore Ravens, and they’re very specific and comprehensive in what they want on a local level,” said Burleson.

“If every team takes that as an example, I think we’ll be in a better place.”

Nate Burleson also added this: “I understand and appreciate the additional song during the national anthem. I get why players stand, take a knee, or stay in the locker room, but the demonstrations turn the conversation. I’ll just say this”

“If the conversation doesn’t turn to action, then it’s quite pointless. I want you guys to stick around.”

Burleson is totally spot on, public expression of sentiment sympathetic to the cause, without action behind it, is just lip service.

Added Bill Cowher on the same show:

“When you think about the NFL, it is the most diverse league in professional sports, diverse in socioeconomic upbringing, diverse in race, diverse in gender.”

“We have women coaches, women in the front office, but yet every team is trying to create a family culture based on unconditional relationships. We don’t all have to agree on everything, but we have to respect everybody because we have not walked in your shoes, and I say this to the fans, please don’t be judgmental today.”

“Listen to the statements that these teams are making. This is not about the flag. I love this country, but we can all do better. Please vote.”

Cowher is right, this is not about the flag. Nor has it ever been. It’s not about respecting the military or the national anthem either. It’s definitely not, nor has it ever been about “they can protest, but on their own time” or any other nonsense like that.

However, the best take on the topic of sports and social injustice, from a member of the NFL fraternity this week, came from former Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs.

(see below)

That was in reference to, of course, the disgraceful display that was fans in Kansas City booing the display of unity by Chiefs and Texans players Thursday night.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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  1. […] Analyst and former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson said it best- it's about actually walking the walk, and not just talking the talk. It's one thing to say you […]

  2. […] Analyst and former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson said it best– it’s about actually walking the walk, and not just talking the talk. It’s one […]

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