NEW ORLEANS — A post this week by New Orleans Saints Tight End Benjamin Watson has gone viral, as Watson shares his thoughts about the grand jury decision and violent rioting in Ferguson, including his beliefs that the heart of the issue is a sin problem, not a skin problem.
Watson, a born again Christian, posted the status on Tuesday. It has now has, as of press time, over 725,000 likes and over 400,00 shares.
In the post, Watson outlines the various feelings he has about the situation—from being angry, to being frustrated, to being fearful, to being sympathetic, to being introspective, to being hopeful.
“I’m frustrated, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios,” he wrote. “I’m embarrassed because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.”
“I’m sympathetic because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened,” Watson continued. “Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure.”
“Or, maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point,” he added, being unsure of what he should think about the situation.
“I’m introspective because sometimes I want to take ‘our’ side without looking at the facts in situations like these,” Watson admitted. “Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.”
But he said that ultimately, he has hope because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and that he knows the real root of the issue has nothing to do with the color of a man’s skin, but the condition of their heart.
“I’m encouraged, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem,” Watson wrote. “SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn.”
“But I’m encouraged because God has provided a solution for sin through His Son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind—one that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being,” he said.
“The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel,” Watson concluded. “So, finally, I’m encouraged because the Gospel gives mankind hope.”