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Chris Baker.

Chris Baker has something to say about Black Lives Matter

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A conversation needs to be had right now in the United States, between law enforcement and those from minorities. 

With the well-publicised recent murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, caught on camera being killed by police officers, and the retaliatory killing of five officers in Dallas, tensions are at an all-time high in the States. 

Sterling and Castile were numbers 122 and 123 in the list of African American males murdered by police in 2016. To Chris Baker of the Washington Redskins, that number is completely unnaceptable and something needs to be done about it. 

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Speaking exclusively to GiveMeSport today in London, the Redskins defensive lineman wasn't afraid to hold back on his thoughts about the troubles in America and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

According to Baker, law enforcement need a much greater accountability for their actions in the wake of the killings of Sterling and Castile.

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"Something needs to happen because I can't put my finger on just how cops get away with killing black people," Baker said.

"And no one ever gets any kind of punishment. They basically kill a black person and get paid leave, then after a year they go back to normal."

Baker is incredibly passionate about the subject, taking a much more serious tone when discussing discrmination and race in modern day America. 

"It's crazy. You see these cops kill people and it's on video and yet there's still a loophole that lets them not face any charges or just get away with it. It's frustrating," he adds.

"It's a failure in the system. Something has to change."

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Redskins

Baker knows that he, and other athletes, have to be at the forefront of the calls for change. They provide a voice for the voiceless and have the means to actually make a difference, much more so than any more marches or protests, which keep on getting ignored. 

"We have a platform that a lot of other people don't have. I feel like if you have a voice then you should absolutely use it."

The 28-year-old knows how the legal system disadvantages those less well off. He was handed two years probation and kicked out of Penn State as a youngster after some on-campus fights. If it wasn't for the NFL, his life - with a criminal record to his name - would be so much different.

"I went through something in college, where you could be completely innocent but as long as you get charged with something you have to go to court," the tackle added.

"Court is very expensive and if you don't have the money to fight it, you're screwed."

"You're forced to take a felony from something you didn't do. And it ruins your life. Your whole life changes. If I didn't make it to the NFL, and I had that felony - for something I didn't do - my whole life would be changed. "

Guys like Baker, his teammate Ricky Jean-Francois, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul at the ESPYS last night are all out here campaigning for change. 

To many white Americans, the treatment of their countrymen of different colour isn't a worry at all and is wildly overstated, or somehow their own fault.

But there is a problem that has to be fixed, a change that needs to be made. 

And these brave sportsmen, who risk the wrath of fans, owners, coaches, and sponsors in making these statements are working towards that. Every speech, interview and post on social media helps. 

Change. That's all Chris Baker and co are asking for. 

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