Denver Broncos star Von Miller has become the ultimate team leader.
"The time is always right to do what's right", Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller told a crowd of marchers for the Black Lives Matter movement at a gathering organized by players on the team.
"Once we have awareness, we've got to always do what's right. Once we have awareness, we've got to use our moral compass to make decisions on what's right. Black, white, it doesn't matter- it's 2020. It's up to use to keep it (the fighting) going. I'm proud of Denver. I'm proud of the state of Colorado."
In these tough times, Von Miller's words resonated with the crowd, and much of the country. While a number of other members of the Denver Broncos marched for BLM, Miller has been at the forefront of the battle. Recently, Miller showcased his powerful writing skills after he penned an editorial for TIME Magazine, sharing his struggles growing up black and sharing his thoughts on the murder of George Floyd.
"I am not a football player named Von Miller. I am Von Miller--a strong, proud, African-American who loves making kids smile, people laugh and my parents shake their heads. I also just happen to play football, which has given me a platform. My love for our country compels me to use it. My message is this: I am all in for unity, equality and justice. If you are committed to that, we can ride together.
Von Miller (TIME Magazine)
Von Miller has come a long way since his rookie days. From league suspensions to breaking curfew prior to games, Miller was not always the leader he has become. One may have argued that he was not really that reliable as a teammate at one point. However, DeMarcus Ware's arrival in Denver seemed to make a world of difference for Miller.
Ware, a brother and mentor for Miller, had an astounding impact on the young player. From that point on, steps were in motion for Miller to become the man he is today.
Earning team captain status, Miller is the first to encourage a teammate, no matter if they have a good or bad performance. He doesn't shy away from the media, and never throws his team, a coach, or a teammate under the bus. He is a firm believer in winning and losing as a team and recognizing when he needs to be better.
Not only has Miller become a leader on the field, but he has also become an example for the rest of the league. Not only does he work hard in the offseason to improve himself, he even works to improve other linebackers with his yearly pass rush summit, often attended by the best of the best in the league.
Von's nonprofit, Von's Vision, works to give children in the Denver area access to eye care and eye exams.
After being diagnosed with COVID-19, Miller shared his experience and urged people to take it seriously.
Now, most recently, Miller is fighting social injustice as a leading voice for BLM.
Miller isn't the immature kid he was coming into the NFL. Now, he is a man. A man who fights for and with his teammates, works to better others in the NFL and at youth football level, and a man who isn't afraid to shy away from matters many would rather not discuss.
Miller has become the ultimate leader, and the Denver Broncos are lucky to have him in their corner.