A football player brought warmth and hope to the people of America after mobilizing a group of residents to clean up downtown Phoenix following peaceful protests for George Floyd that were disrupted by looters.
Upon witnessing the chaotic aftermath in his city, punter Marquette King motioned to post a call to action on his Twitter account.
“I’m gonna be in Downtown Phoenix at 10ish with gloves and trash bags cleaning up the city. All races are welcome to come clean the city with me. Officers should come too. Let’s get to know each other.”
The group gathered on Sunday morning for the cleanup, picking up trash, scrubbing tagged paint off windows and walls.
Marquette King played for the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos in the NFL for six years, and also for the St. Louis Battlehawks in the XFL.
Among the volunteers was Robert Nelson, former Arizona State football player. Others were citizens of Phoenix who saw King’s tweet and decided to help.
“I searched ‘Phoenix cleanup’ on Twitter and found [Marquette King]’s post. I didn’t know who he was, but I wanted to help,” a volunteer shared in an interview with KPNX-12 News.
Following the cleanup, King tweeted a photo of their group, and declared the event a success. He wrote, “Today was a success. #GeorgeFloyd was a believer in peace and love as well as myself n everyone that was out here today helping people in Phoenix.
He also added, “It’s ok to be different! I choose to make an impact in showing love n peace. Make a difference but be smart and calculated.”
The spirit of volunteerism was also present in Seattle, where citizens of different ages also mobilized to clean up after the protests.
Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan remarked in an interview, “What I love to see here is so many people coming downtown to help. To help clean up, to remove graffiti, to reclaim the city that they love. That’s the spirit we have to be about going forward: people coming together and finding a way to acknowledge the challenges that we have, make them better, but still love our city.”