New York Giants safety Logan Ryan has started a new program to support police officers and work to bridge the divide between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
During an interview with "Good Morning Football" on Wednesday, the defensive back said that his father, Lester Ryan, is a 25-year veteran of the police force in Camden, New Jersey, and his hero. Together, they started started Ryan Alternative Solutions Training, or RAST, to train police officers in de-escalation and minimal use-of-force techniques, seeking real police reform instead of hopping on the leftist "defund the police" bandwagon like many other athletes.
"My dad is my hero. He's a black man in this country. He's 25 years a cop in Camden, New Jersey. … He worked in the FBI, the SWAT team, he also has multiple black belts in martial arts. So I feel like he's extremely qualified when we talk about police reform," Ryan told NFL Network host Nate Burleson.
"We obviously know where we are in the nation, where we are in the country, there's a lot of divide. And honestly athletes have the biggest social justice calling of any time. We have the mics in front of us, we have great platforms, and I always want to use my platform," he added.
Knowing the difficulties his father faced as a law enforcement officer inspired Ryan to use his platform to work to improve how police officers relate to the people they protect.
"I believe in the police. I don't believe in defunding the police. I believe we need the police. I believe our police need better training to be better equipped to handle some of the situations they deal with," Ryan said.
The core tenets for RAST, according to its website, are "accountability," "competency," and "training." The organization believes that through proper education, police officers can make better decisions that will help them avoid violent confrontations and bring "harmony" back between police and the public.
"The Ryan Approach promotes safety for citizens and officers which reinforces police accountability to management and to the public," the website states.
The goal, Ryan said, is that both the cops and the people they interact with can each go home to their wives and kids without a tragedy.
"I was involved in the George Floyd lobbying ... but I really want to put some skin in the game and take it to the next step. So I started a company with my dad because I feel like he has great insight, being a former police officer," Ryan said. "There are good apples out there, there are a lot of good apples. And just like an NFL player, if someone gets arrested we're all deemed bad apples. 'All these NFL guys are spoiled, they're entitled, they don't care about women, they don't care about life.' Well, there's a lot of good guys that are doing good things behind the scenes just like my dad."