Fort Wayne, Ind (WANE) – In late November 2014 Benjamin Watson, then tight end for the New Orleans Saints, looked up from the discipline of the game to see the explosion of reactions that rocked our country with the verdict by a Grand Jury on the Ferguson decision. The violence and stereotypes hit him hard, on a wide range of levels, and he responded with a post on social media. That post went viral and generated 863,000 Likes, 471,000 Shares, and almost 90,000 Comments. He listed 12 adjectives and the reason(s) why those adjectives described his feelings. Many were ugly and painfully honest, others were reflective to hopeful. His final thoughts were positive, which is what makes his reaction so distinct from other reactions to the decision and the following protests.
In 2015 Watson published a book that expanded on the 2014 post titled, “Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race and Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations That Divide Us.” He asks questions that in his words will “challenge assumptions and experiences” and turns the issues from a skin problem to a human problem and poses an answer.
Indiana Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) has taken note of Watson’s honest assessment and is bringing him to Fort Wayne for a Night of Hope. Kraig Cabe, FCA Indiana State Director says this event “will address real issues that people are experiencing . . . . to give hope.” It will be held at the Embassy on Monday, May 2. It’s free to attend, but tickets are required as seating is limited. Tickets are available in person at the Embassy Box Office (125 West Jefferson Blvd.) or online at IndianaFCA.org. The event will also feature music by Charles Billingsley. For more information about this program or FCA, visit the website.