The University of Alabama football team released a powerful new video Thursday calling for “building a better, more just future” and saying that “All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter. 

In the video, written by current Alabama left tackle Alex Leatherwood, a group of players and head coach Nick Saban say together: “We are a team, Black, white and brown. Together, we are a family. We are brothers who represent ourselves, our families, our hometowns, our university and our country."

“We stand on the shoulders of giants — our grandparents and parents, our ancestors, our heroes and Alabama alumni, and former players who have changed the world," they continued. "Beginning on our historic campus, we speak as one, acknowledging our history, honoring their legacy and building a better, more just future."


The players added that “in this moment in history, we can’t be silent."

“We speak for justice, for fairness, for equality, for greater understanding. We stand together against racism, against brutality, against violence, for a better world," they said. "When we see our families, our neighbors, our classmates subjected to violence, we recognize the fear in their eyes. And when we experience racism, it hurts."

"In the game, we are one team, one heartbeat, one mission. Yet we are diverse," they added. "We don’t always agree, but we learn so much from each other, and we are so much better together."

Saban added: “Until I listen with an open heart and mind, I can’t understand his experience and his pain.”

The players end the video by repeating together “All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter.”

The statement followed conversations that the football program held in recent weeks with Condoleezza Rice, Charles Barkley and Stephen A. Smith, reported.

The video comes as nationwide protests have erupted over the death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans.

Floyd died last month after a former Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest for more than eight minutes. Arbery was shot and killed by white men in February while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood. Taylor was shot in her Louisville, Ky., apartment in March after several police officers entered with a no-knock warrant while she was sleeping. 

Earlier this month, a group of NFL players released a video calling on the league to support Black players, condemn racism and admit “wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell later released a video agreeing with the statements, condemning “racism and the systematic oppression of black people.” He added that “we, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest," and that “we, the National Football League, believe Black lives matter." 

The NFL has faced controversy over its response to protests during the national anthem before games. Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick sued the NFL after no team would hire him following protests in which he knelt during the anthem.