Saints TE Benjamin Watson Getting Real on Race in America

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sportiqe is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Watson’s “Under Our Skin:” Frustration over the Ferguson decision and religion in America.

New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson is readying for the release of his book Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race – And Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us, in which he addresses sensitive topics such as race and religion in the United States.

Saints TE Benjamin Watson Getting Real on Race in America[/tweetthis]

Many had clamored for NFL player's uncensored thoughts after his post on social media regarding the Ferguson Decision in 2014, which related to a grand jury deciding not to indict Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department in the shooting of Michael Brown, an African-American. Brown was unarmed at the time, although he was a suspect in the robbery of cigars from a convenience store only hours earlier.

Under Our Skin: Nov. 17, 2015
Under Our Skin: Nov. 17, 2015
In his Facebook post which has gotten 863,000 likes, 86,000 comments and been shared 471,000 times, Benjamin Watson said that he was embarrassed because the instances of crime only lend credence to the commonly held stereotype, strengthening the case for African-Americans to be treated less fairly. He added that he was also fearful because he could be seen as a threat any moment.

His frustration arose from the fact that pop culture and movies glorified these altercations with the police. He was confused because he couldn't understand why it was difficult to obey a law enforcement official, and was sympathetic towards Darren Wilson, because the police officer would have to live with it.

At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson…

Posted by Benjamin Watson on Tuesday, November 25, 2014

His post mentioned him being sad about the loss of life and feeling hopeless because his own children would face the same situation. He concluded that he was hopeful because he enjoyed great relationships with his teammates, mentors and friends; and he was encouraged because it was not skin problem, but a sin problem. God provided a solution for that through His son Jesus and Watson's closing lines were that the Gospel provides hope to all mankind.

Following his Facebook post, he was interviewed by Brooke Baldwin on CNN, but the interview ended abruptly when he said that the only way to understand what was happening was by acknowledging that Jesus died for our sins. Although it was attributed to technical issues, some speculate that it was due to him talking about religion. Watson is an outspoken Christian and was already with The Fellowship of Christian Athletes when he was only in high school.

The first chapter is already out and the full book, co-authored with Ken Peterson, releases on November 17, 2015.


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