New Orleans Saints’ tight end Benjamin Watson captured the world's attention with a viral Facebook post he wrote last November about the protests in Ferguson, proclaiming that "sin is the reason we are racist" and encouraging people to turn to God.
This week, Watson followed that message up with another pointed response to the chaos unfolding in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray.
"We have major problems as a nation. Yesterday Ferguson burned. Tonight #Baltimore burns. Tomorrow it will be another city in our homeland," Watson wrote Tuesday on his Facebook page. "Watching the coverage I'm hearing yet another version of a nauseatingly familiar narrative. Violence by police reciprocated by violence by the community, reciprocated by violence by police reciprocated by.... It seems fruitless to continue to analyze, condemn, and respond to these dreadful episodes."
Benjamin Watson #89 of the New Orleans Saints before a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 9, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
The 34-year-old football star went on to say that many people have continued to focus on fixing broken systems when it comes to race, poverty, immigration and law enforcement. While he said that these endeavors are "helpful" and "needed," Watson noted that it's all been tried and that society still finds itself in its current situation.
Watson suggested that there's something else far bigger that needs fixing — and it goes beyond correcting "systems," requiring society to collectively dig deeper to get to the real root of the problem: the human heart.
"Systems are broken because people are broken and if systems are fixed without hearts being changed the result will be a legalistic attempt that will lack long term results," he said. "Our problems are wholistic and common to the human heart."
Watson continued, "Hatred, prejudice, exploitation, pride, self righteousness, secrecy, and rebellion, manifest itself in the explosions we've seen over the last year, the last century, and the last millennia."
He said that most have been protesting in Baltimore without violence and in "entrenched pain," though he said that "a few" have committed unacceptable acts there.
Rather than addressing the periphery issues, Watson said that it is essential to begin diving into the true catalyst for the unrest, calling for people to show "the love of God" and for the Lord to change peoples' hearts and minds.
"Tonight I see 'smoke,' but we must address the fire. The response that we are watching is just 'smoke' from years of hopelessness," he continued. "After each situation the more I am convinced that the love of God for our fellow brothers and sisters who were created in His image, is our only hope for reconciliation."
Watson concluded his message by calling for peace, prayer and justice for all.
"Tonight I see a brokenness that only Christ can give us the wisdom and power to mend," he said.
Read Watson's entire message about the Baltimore protests here.
(H/T: Christian Post)