Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman helped pay the bail for a 22-year-old immigration rights activist who was put in prison in May after publicly reading a poem that criticized U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Norman and New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis, who are both members of the Players Coalition that seeks to work on issues of social justice, helped make part of Jose Bello’s $50,000 bail.
Reports said ICE came to Bello’s home and arrested him two days after he read his poem at a meeting of the Kern County Board of Supervisors in California.
Norman gave a statement about the situation to the American Civil Liberties Union.
“Jose Bello was exercising a fundamental right that we pride ourselves on as Americans,” the statement said. “If he was detained for reciting a peaceful poem then we should really ask ourselves, are our words truly free? This is America right? Where the 1st Amendment is freedom of speech unless I missed the memo somewhere. He was exercising that right.”
Norman also took to Twitter to speak his mind on the situation, criticizing ICE and saying some fellow U.S. citizens were committing “atrocities” that impeded others’ freedom.
#DearAmerica, We’ve witnessed a lot these past few years. Yesterday was another example of that, where I saw the price tag on freedom. When I helped to post a $50,000 bond for a young man detained 87 days for exercising his 1st Amendment right of free speech… pic.twitter.com/uffYiES86S— *Joshua R. Norman (@J_No24) August 14, 2019
Unfortunately his story is not unique. ICE is using detention and deportation as weapons to silence immigrant activists and I’ve seen this 1st hand through our work at the border with my brother @demario__davis.— *Joshua R. Norman (@J_No24) August 14, 2019
In those moments I often think to myself, Is this really the America i/WE ALL were birthed into? Where the Golden Standard Rule “IS” Liberty & Justice for all? ( Or did I miss that memo somewhere to!? )— *Joshua R. Norman (@J_No24) August 14, 2019
So I say To the many others out there that are pinned down by the atrocities of what’s happening right now to you by our very own fellow citizens of this Great Country. Don’t let these rotten apples spoil your hopes & dreams of True Freedom…they….— *Joshua R. Norman (@J_No24) August 14, 2019
clearly do not know what they do & I’m truly deeply sorry for their actions.. Just know we are watching, the Whole World is, & the contributions we are making help support your fight for peace and sanctuary; we will continue until that work is done! Psalms 22:24🙏🏾#ToGodBeTheGlory— *Joshua R. Norman (@J_No24) August 14, 2019
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