A former NFL player explains, “What the Black Lives Matter Movement Has Taught Me”

Listen to the podcast on Inkandescent Radio Taking it to the limit

Former NFL player Siddeeq Shabazz gets personal about his feelings on the Black Lives Matter movement, his responsibilities as a black man, and his hope for his kids — and the future.

December 2020: A Note from Tony Farmer, host, the Black Lives Matter Radio Show on the InkandescentRadio.com podcast network — It’s a thrill and honor to introduce you to former NFL player Siddeeq Shabazz, our guest on the Black Lives Matter Radio Show.

The Community Relations Manager at Mountain View Regional Medical Center in Las Cruces, NM, and a graduate student slated to get his Ph.D. this month in business marketing, Siddeeq shares his deep, heartfelt thoughts is happening in America and his own community.

  • Scroll down for more of Siddeeq’s essay on the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Be sure to download the podcast for our entire interview.

What the Black Lives Matter Movement Has Taught Me

By Siddeeq Shabazz

I am committed to my faith and my family. In the wake of the global outrage over the recent litany of black lives lost at the hand of white vigilantes and police officers, I find myself at an interesting crossroad.

For decades, I have been resistant to engage in racial issues. But as the Black Lives Matter movement has unfolded in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, I was gripped with pain, guilt, and shame. For perhaps the first time in my life, I have looked deep inside myself to understand my complicity in the hatred and hostility toward many marginalized Americans.

I have since vowed I would not spend another day of my life turning a blind eye to the nuanced racism I have learned to accept, justify, and ignore.

After looking at the myriad responses in my own community and throughout our country, my spirit has been awakened to the calling God has put in my heart.

I see now that I have been prepared in unique ways — with compassion, resilience, and deep longing for community — to step into this hostile territory seeking restoration through my life; these qualities have been developed, in trials that I created or was born into, through my ancestry. (Through my paternal side, I am African-American, and my mother is Sicilian-American.) They are also the result of the sweet victories I have found in my new identity as a child of God.

Interestingly, one of the few Christians in the university setting resembles being one of the few people of color in most settings. However, this has afforded me perspective, compassion, and a desire to fervently seek tangible justice improvements for all others who feel marginalized. I look forward to taking steps toward this new future.

More about Siddeeq

  • Education: New Mexico State University: Ph.D. in Business Marketing; BA in Administration; ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
    Certification: EXOS Athlete Performance Certification
    Professional Football player: 2003 NFL Draft (Oakland Raiders); NFL/NFL Europe/CFL Professional
    Founder: T.E.A.M. Shabazz Foundation; YourDay Lifestyle Coach
    Networking: BNI Las Cruces Elite Business Builders, Chapter Founder/President
    Volunteer: Mountain View Market Co-op Board of Directors
    Skills: Motivational/Public Speaking, Conflict Resolution, Leadership Training, Coaching, Mentoring