How Joe Burrow Reportedly ‘Won Bengals Over’ In Team Meeting

Burrow has proven to be an ideal franchise cornerstone


February 13, 2022

Joe Burrow earned the respect of his Bengals teammates well before he proved what he was capable of on an NFL football field.

As ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler shared in a column published Sunday, Burrow showcased tremendous leadership and nobility in a team meeting roughly four months after Cincinnati selected him No. 1 overall in the 2020 draft. The meeting was held amid nationwide unrest following George Floyd’s murder at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

From Fowler:

The Bengals were holding a meeting at team headquarters around August, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and the protests against racial injustice it had sparked across the nation. As defensive tackle D.J. Reader recalls, “a lot was going on at that time” around the country and players were discussing weighty issues in the meeting.

Burrow decided to address the team by telling a personal story about the racial injustice a Black teammate experienced during their high school basketball days growing up in Athens, Ohio. During one game, Burrow said, people in the stands yelled racial slurs at the friend. Burrow described feeling shaken and upset during the game, and what it felt like afterward as the two of them sat in the back of the team bus.

Burrow vowed to fight against such behavior for the rest of his life.

The Bengals’ respect for Burrow surely has only grown over the course of his first two seasons as the organization’s starting quarterback. It can be taken to another stratosphere Sunday if the 25-year-old puts on a show and helps earn the franchise its first Super Bowl championship.

NESN’s big game coverage is presented by Berkshire Bank.

Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow
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