On Monday, the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement will expire, a date that has not been announced by either sides.
While negotiations over the long term are ongoing, Hargrey is already working to create a platform that will allow his peers to be more accessible and more open, and that includes his own work.
Hargrey spoke to reporters on Monday after a conference call to discuss how his work as an attorney and an activist helped him navigate a complex and difficult path in the workplace.HARGRAY’S STORYBefore joining the NFL in 1989, Hargo had spent more than 30 years working in the civil rights movement.
During his time in the league, he represented several prominent African American athletes, including Walter Payton, who won Super Bowl XLII and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
He also represented the late civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1991, Hargeys first career legal action came in connection with the 1994 death of Michael Brown, a black teen shot and killed by a white police officer.
Hargry’s work with Brown’s family led to the passage of the Justice for Michael Brown Act, which helped end racial disparities in policing and sentencing.HARRIS: What made you decide to focus on a case where there were multiple police officers involved?HARRISON: I thought it was the right thing to do.
It was something that was just absolutely unconscionable.
I mean, we had the first police shootings in this country, and I just felt that the way the world was, the way things were, that there had to be some sort of change.
The whole idea that there were police officers, it was so wrong.
It had to stop.
The police officers were not supposed to be the problem.
They were supposed to protect and serve the community, but they weren’t.HARDING: Did you have a preconceived idea that it was going to be a civil rights case?HARGLY: No.
It just kind of happened.
And then it kind of grew and grew.
And it was just like, we’ve got to make it happen.
That’s the way it has always been, that’s how it has been for me, and so it’s kind of been the best decision for me to work on it.HANKS: It’s the same for me.
We’ve had cases where we’ve had all these young men, kids that I was with, come out of jail.
And now they’re all grown and they’re living their lives, so we need to make them feel that this is something that is worth their time, and it’s worth their effort, and they deserve it.
And I feel that the world needs to see this and that’s what we’re trying to do with it.