Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson revealed the one thing that left him encouraged in the wake of the Charlottesville chaos — and offered up an important warning to his fellow Americans.
“As far as we’ve come when it comes to race in this country, there’s still quite a ways to go,” he said this week on the premiere episode of “The Billy Hallowell Podcast.” “But I was also encouraged, because so many voices spoke out against what they saw. There was a time when there would be a march with torches at night … and no one would say anything, because that was the norm and that was expected.”
Watson also spoke about a misconception that he believes many people have when they talk about “unity,” saying that sometimes there is an impossible expectation that is laid out.
“A lot of times we talk about unity and, look, we’re not all going to think the same thing,” he said. “I think that sometimes unity is this kind of false idea that’s not really attainable … but what we can do is have some respect for each other and not degrade and demean each other simply because we disagree.”
Listen to Watson discuss these issues among many others below:
Watson also offered up a warning to the majority of Americans who were horrified by the racism on display in Charlottesville, urging everyone to also examine their own hearts for any latent racism.
“There’s also a warning there,” he said. “[In only focusing on those responsible for Charlottesville] we can neglect the racism that we have in our own living rooms and we cannot pay attention to the stuff that we say to one another because we’re not there being overt with our feelings.”
Watson also shared his own struggles, at moments, to “fight apathy” and frustration, especially when he sees divisive messages. At times, he said he feels forced to put his phone down and walk away from the news and social media.
But, in the end, he believes Christians are called to have a voice, so long as they use it with discernment.
“As believers, I really believe that we are called to engage politically, socially, however we can,” he said. “And stand for truth and point people to truth.”
Watson continued, “We live in a time where there’s a lot out there, but that means we need to be even more involved with discernment.”