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T.O.’s call for unity

Terrell Owens says better training and response is the key to fighting prejudice

Six-time Pro Bowl player Terrell Owens has had his share of ups and downs in and out of the National Football League. The preternaturally talented wide receiver played for six teams before going broke, angering teammates, being out of work, and launching any number of professional and personal comebacks. His latest venture, an athletic lifestyle clothing company called Prototype 81, was unveiled on July 18 in New York. At his showing, Owens also opened up.

Where we are as a country is not where we want or need to be. We all have to take some accountability for our actions, whether it’s football, basketball, regular people or even at the police academies. You have to sit back and be rational about it and understand that some of their actions are not appropriate. Police officers do a great job of trying to protect and serve our country. I can’t imagine being in their shoes. It’s a very tough job in itself. To be put in certain situations where you have to make instinctive decisions, it’s difficult. And sometimes people have to better police themselves. With everything that’s going on and these events are happening over and over again – and everyone speaking out about it – there has to be some kind of accountability from these police and the academies where they’re trained. But we as civilians and citizens, we have to take accountability for our actions also. Yes, I see myself as a role model because I was a professional athlete, but I’m also a human being. And I’m a dad. My oldest son is 16, and he’s aware of what’s going on.

Jill Hudson is the senior style writer for the Undefeated. She is an evolved nerd, a caffeinated shoe fanatic, and a maker of long lists and perfect martinis.