Former NFL player Ryan Clark gave an emotional speech about being a Black father in America and broke down in tears discussing his son’s recent experience with racism.
Clark’s son Jordan, along with two Arizona State football teammates, claim they were called the N-word by a Whataburger customer this week. Rather than de-escalating the situation, the restaurant manager threatened to call the police on the players.
Clark spoke about the incident with ESPN’s “Get Up” on Friday morning (June 19) and said he was thankful his son is still alive.
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“I’m playing out a scenario of if this woman would’ve had a weapon and she could easily say that these 3 young Black men were threatening her … I believe that if that woman pulls a gun on those young men and that woman pulls the trigger, I believe that she’s never punished,” Clark says. “I believe that justice is never served. And, even if justice is served, it’s not enough to bring my son back.”
He continued: “This isn’t just a fear for me every day, this has been a fear for Black people forever. If something would have happened to him, it would have broke me. So for me, I have to do a better job of educating him, and I have to protect him.”
“I know it’s getting better, but it’s not better yet, better for everybody,” Clark concluded.
According to Whataburger, the chain claims it doesn’t tolerate racism and were “horrified to hear how these customers were treated by another customer.”
“We are reinforcing training with our employee on how this incident was handled and apologized to the players and their families for this terrible experience,” the restaurant said in a statement.