The former professional wrestler shared an eight-minute video on his Instagram account, alluding to the fact that the president hasn’t stepped up to show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Where are you? Where is our leader? Where are you? Where is our leader at this time? At this time, when our country is down on its knees, begging, pleading, hurt, angry, frustrated, in pain, begging and pleading with its arms out just wanting to be heard,” he says.
Protests have spread worldwide in the wake of Floyd’s death on May 25. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in police custody after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck.
While Johnson expresses that “all lives matter,” he encourages his fans to say “Black lives matter” at this time.
“Of course all lives matter, every single one. All lives matter because we as Americans believe in inclusivity, we believe in acceptance, we believe in human rights, we believe in equality for all. That’s what we believe in,” he says in the video.
“So of course all lives matter. But in this moment right now, this defining, pivotal, explosive moment where our country is down on its knees, the floorboards of our country are becoming unhinged, in this moment, we must say the words, Black lives matter.”
The father of three called out Trump for his choice to use military force against protesters.
“There is military force that has been deployed on our own people. Looters, yes. Criminals, absolutely. But on protesters, who are begging and pleading, our protesters who are in pain?” Johnson says. “You would be surprised how people in pain would respond when you say, ‘I care about you.’ When you say to them, ‘I’m listening to you.'”
He continued: “I am not the president of the United States, but I am a man and I’m a father who cares so deeply about my family, about my children, and the world that they will live in.”
“I care so deeply about our country and every single person in it. That’s who I am. I am a man who is frustrated, I’m disappointed, I’m angry. But I’m also doing my best to stay focused and as calm as I can possibly be in the pocket to make the best decision for my family and make the best decisions for our country.”
The president has been accused of hiding from protesters, having retreated to a White House security bunker during the Washington, D.C. demonstrations on Friday.
The Ballers star has shared various tributes to the protests on social media this week, including three black squares, with one reading: “We have a deep accountability to our Black community, and we demand equality.”
A week ago, he posted an image reading: “I can’t breathe,” which is what Floyd said before he died.