Very akin to the BLM hashtag, last year another went viral aimed at bringing awareness to Black women as many can attest to years of being undermined, undervalued, unattended to, and more. #ProtectBlackWomen blew up on social media in an attempt to highlight the grievances brought on to them daily. With the latest news to break headlines of NFL player Chad Wheeler’s incident with his girlfriend, a Black woman, it seems as though the hashtag needs to not only intensify but be put into action in more ways than one.
Many in both the NFL and the general public were outraged at the news. After the unfortunate incident, the 27-year-old Seattle Seahawks star was taken into custody and charged. Loud public outcries and severe backlash prompted Wheeler to offer a public apology via Twitter for the “manic episode”, where he also announced that he would “walk away from football and get the help.
Events happened over the weekend that transpired from a manic episode. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering that I have caused to Alleah and her family.— Chad Wheeler (@ChadWheeler72) January 27, 2021
Prior to his apology and announcement, the Seahawks also officially proclaimed via a statement that they denounced Wheeler’s actions while offering their support to Alleah, and announced that he was “a free agent and no longer with the team.” The statements from Wheeler and the team weren’t enough for social media users, as well as many Black journalists and athletes.
In the past, many Black athletes have come under fire for incidents that are minor in comparison to Wheeler’s, yet are often prone to receiving swift vilification from the media, from Michael Vick to most famously and recently Colin Kaepernick. Cries for the media to treat this circumstance, in the same manner, have run rampant, including from Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Dez Bryant.
Highly upset by the headlines, Bryant took to Twitter to call out Wheeler and send him a warning.
Chad Wheeler’s court date is set for next month.