- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Dwayne Haskins stood in the thick of a packed protest in the District over the weekend, listening to speakers as they shared their experiences with racism and law enforcement. The Redskins quarterback could relate.

Haskins thought of the time an officer stopped him and wanted to know if he had drugs or anything “he needed to worry about.

“I get pulled over sometimes and I’m scared because I get questions and I get asked crazy things,” Haskins said.

Haskins said he was taught from a young age to obey an officer’s request, to avoid any back-and-forth during an exchange. Just get in and get out.

“You never know when it’s going to be your last breath, so you have always to be prepared for everything,” Haskins said.

Speaking to reporters in a video press conference, Haskins called attending this weekend’s protests in D.C. a “great experience.” For the 23-year-old, going to the rally was a way to back up his actions rather than post a statement on social media about George Floyd’s death.

Haskins said it was his first-ever protest. He went as a regular person, not leading a march or as a featured speaker. He got to soak it in.

“I feel like everybody in this day and age likes to just talk,” Haskins said. “I wanted to go down there and be a part of it and make a difference.”

Earlier Wednesday, coach Ron Rivera praised Haskins for attending the rally.

The Redskins introduced a series of initiatives the team is sponsoring in response to the civil unrest related to police brutality and racial injustice around the country, including a town hall forum and $250,000 from owner Dan Snyder that will be used to fund future proposals.

Haskins, meanwhile, said he is undecided whether he’ll take a knee during the national anthem this season. But he added he was supportive of a teammates’ decision to do so. Running back Adrian Peterson told reporters last week that he “without a doubt” plans to kneel before games.

Haskins said he applauds Rivera’s response over the past few weeks. Haskins, too, said he’s been trying to stay as up-to-date on current events. Haskins said his teammates have been “very open” in their conversations about race, including the white players.

The discussions, Haskins said, have been “all you can ask for,” but the quarterback added it’s important to keep the conversation going. He said he felt there have been too many times when people stop paying attention to a topic that matters after “a couple minutes.”

“Personally, for me, it’s been Black Lives Matter my whole life,” Haskins said. “Black Lives Matter my whole parents’ life, their parents’ life. We can’t just because there’s a protest right now and (if) it stops in two weeks, we can’t stop talking about it, stop working to put together a plan of action and bring unity to this country.

“That’s all I want. … It shouldn’t have to (take) somebody being killed to stop racism.”

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