The Chicago Bears and the University of New Mexico issued statements on Friday distancing themselves from Brian Urlacher after the Hall of Fame linebacker wrote a controversial comment following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wis.
Urlacher posted the following to his Instagram story on Thursday after NBA players elected to sit out playoff games as a means to protest.
“Brett Favre played the (Monday Night Football) game the day his dad died, threw 4 TDs in the first half, and was a legend for playing in the face of adversity,” Urlacher wrote.
“NBA players boycott the playoffs because a dude reaching for a knife, wanted on a felony sexual assault warrant, was shot by police.”
Urlacher also allegedly liked an Instagram post calling for the release of Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old white teenager who has been charged with first-degree homicide in the killing of two protesters this week in Kenosha.
The Bears were quick to make it clear that they don’t share Urlacher’s views.
“The social media posts in no way reflect the values or opinions of the Chicago Bears organization,” the team said in a statement.
Urlacher’s alma mater, New Mexico, issued a lengthy statement on Friday.
“We, the players, of The University of New Mexico football team vehemently condemn the words of one of our most renowned and respected alumni, Brian Urlacher,” the school said in a statement. “… When you have a platform, you also have the responsibility and an obligation to use it wisely and respectfully; especially when you are the face of multiple sports organizations. As one of our own we look forward to the opportunity to sit down and discuss the comment Brian posted and why it was hurtful to us.
“… Regardless of who you are or your relation to this football team, we will no longer tolerate hatred and blatant ignorance directed towards the very existence of so many on this team. We will always stand unified and we will march far across the river towards justice together. We are The University of New Mexico football team and we will always fight ignorance and hatred with empowerment and unity.”
Running back Matt Forte, who played with Urlacher in Chicago for five seasons from 2008-12, took to social media to share his frustration with his former teammate’s comment.
“The comment (Urlacher) posted is void of empathy, compassion, wisdom and coherence. But full of pride and ignorance!” Forte wrote on Twitter. “I pray for those who have been blinded by their wealth, privilege and earthly fame that breeds arrogance in their hearts. And those who refuse to acknowledge racism and injustice but instead choose to place their energy into justifying it by quickly judging the victims life as if they themselves are more valuable because their sins are different or weren’t caught by man… but God sees all.”
Urlacher was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and was the 2005 Defensive Player of the Year in a 13-year career spent entirely with the Bears. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
–Field Level Media