NFL

Titans Running Back Derrick Henry Honored Victims of Racial Injustice and Police Brutality in a Special Way

Tennessee Titans star running back Derrick Henry made sure to pay homage to police brutality and racial justice victims. Henry wore a suit with names including George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, and countless others.

Many athletes have shown their support by delivering messages on social media or talking about certain issues during interviews. Henry decided to show his support by wearing the customized suit as he was traveling to Denver for the Monday Night Football Game.

Derrick Henry has become a top player in the NFL

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After having a successful career at the University of Alabama, where he won a national championship and Heisman Trophy, Henry was determined to have more success in the NFL. The Titans drafted Henry in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft. He signed a four-year, $5.40 million contract with $3.30 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $2.13 million. During his rookie season, he served as the backup to DeMarco Murray. Henry finished his first year with 110 carries for 490 yards and five touchdowns.

During his second season in 2017, Henry split carries with Murray. Henry improved throughout the season and played in all 16 games making two starts. At the end of the season, he finished with 744 yards and five touchdowns. That season the Titans finished 9-7 and made the playoffs playing in the AFC Wild Card game. With Murray out due to an injury, Henry started in his first playoff game and had an impressive performance. He finished with 156 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 35 yards as the Titans defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21. His 191 yards-from-scrimmage was a franchise record.

In the Divisional Round against the New England Patriots, Henry had 28 rushing yards and 21 receiving yards as the Titans lost to the Patriots 35-14. Henry was poised for a big season in 2018.

Derrick Henry leading the league in rushing yards and touchdowns

In 2018, Henry started in 12 of the 16 regular-season games. He struggled for most of the season, but that all changed toward the end of the season. In Week 14, he had a 99-yard touchdown run against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which tied him with Tony Dorsett for the longest NFL touchdown run. He finished the game with four rushing touchdowns and rushed for 238 yards breaking Chris Johnson’s franchise record of 228 yards in 2009. 

Henry finished the 2018 season with 1,059 rushing yards, 12 rushing touchdowns, and 15 receptions. The success continued for Henry going into the 2019 season. Henry was now the starting running back for the Titans, and he made an impact during the season. He finished the season leading the league in rushing attempts (303), rushing yards (1,540), and was tied for the most rushing touchdowns with 16. Henry also set career-highs in receptions (18), receiving yards (206), and receiving touchdowns (2). 

He was named an All-Pro and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time. Henry had a big performance in the playoffs against the Patriots as he finished with 182 rushing yards as the Titans defeated the Patriots in the AFC Wild Card game. Another big performance came for Henry in the next round against the Baltimore Ravens as he rushed for 195 yards. He became the second player in NFL history with three postseason games with at least 150 rushing yards. Henry’s postseason magic came to an end against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game.

Derrick Henry making a statement in 2020

After a successful 2019 season, Henry is looking to have more success in 2020. He’s also paying attention to what’s going on across the country, like so many other athletes. Henry decided to get creative and honor victims of police brutality and racial injustice in a special way.

On Twitter, the Titans tweeted out multiple photos of Henry wearing a black suit on with the names of victims in white. There were many names all across the suit as Henry wanted to honor those victims. Professional athletes want to make their voices heard, and they can do that without saying words, and that’s what Henry did when he wore that suit. Athletes will continue to use their platform to share their thoughts and opinions on different issues and show their support. 

This probably won’t be the last time that Henry does something like this during the season.