CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown has travelled around the country to ply his craft over 15 years of professional football, but never has there been a trip with as much purpose as the one he took on Tuesday.
McCown accompanied several other NFL players, including teammate Andrew Hawkins, to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress to discuss community relations with law-enforcement officials after a rash of police-involved shootings and violent responses.
“It was a good experience, very humbling to be a part of something like that and to go meet with so many good people,” McCown said. “That is something that is a very serious topic in our country. I learned so much and I am grateful to Anquan (Boldin) and the other guys who invited me to come along.”
According to Hawkins and McCown, there was a lot of open, honest conversation with members of Congress.
“You just want to understand everything as best as you can and step in,” McCown said. “You want to be able to stand with both sides and say we want to understand them and realize that these are tough times and that we are here for you, that we want to emphasize with those that are hurting, that are losing loved ones, but at the same time, support law enforcement and their efforts to better their relationship with communities. Whatever things we can do to lend hands to prevent these things from happening is really the goal.”
Hawkins and McCown were two of the four players handpicked by Detroit Lions wide receiver Anquan Boldin to meet with Congress to open lines of communication and address what is going on with police-involved shootings in several cities, including Cleveland, Minneapolis and Baton Rouge among others.
According to Hawkins, rather than getting “caught up in thinking either this side or that side is right or wrong,” the best way to keep things moving in the right direction is by keeping lines of communication open between concerned citizens and law-enforcement officials.
And that is something McCown agreed with wholeheartedly.
“We will continue to talk amongst the group of guys that went and see as this process grows if there are others that are interested in being involved,” McCown said. “The good thing yesterday was just the willingness for those involved to continue to work on this and to continue to try to move it forward.
“It is probably more time spent for the offseason at this point, but certainly, it is stuff that we want to continue to move forward in a direction that hopefully helps see things get better. That is the ultimate goal, just to see improvements on both sides and to continue to make progress.”