Up Next

As Told To

Former Giants linebacker Carl Banks says, ‘We gotta really watch and be careful how [we] move’

He also adds: ‘Don’t vote for people whose souls are for sale’

Carl Banks is antsy. Seems like every time the two-time Super Bowl-winning linebacker clicks on cable news, headlines of unjust killings of black men dominate the cycle. It’s the kind of news that sends his emotions into a tailspin. His best friend is a police officer in Michigan, and the two often talk about the weight of the world — black men are dying and, in some cases, police officers are being targeted. The finger-pointing has everybody on edge. And Banks, born and raised in Flint, Michigan, thinks it’s high time for a resolution.

Former New York Giants'

Former New York Giants’ Carl Banks speaks to the fans during a 25 year anniversary celebration at halftime of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J.

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

“I’m distressed at times, disappointed and empathetic. It’s a range of emotions, especially when you have kids and young black men who you got to have a different level of conversation with right now. We’re in an environment right now where everybody’s on edge. We gotta really watch and be careful how [we] move. It’s just too much going on. I have relatives who are police officers who I talk to. One of my best friends, my very best friend, is a police officer in Michigan. So we talk two or three times a week and … I understand the stress that they go through, but I also understand the stress that our community is going through. We are in interesting times because we have a lot of rhetoric that doesn’t serve in the interest of peace. When you see some of the things that are coming out of people’s mouths, you wonder why they even bother.

“We are in interesting times because we have a lot of rhetoric that doesn’t serve in the interest of peace.”

“Don’t vote for people whose souls are for sale. We look at the top of a ticket all the time, but all politics are local. All politics are local. You can get involved. People are like, ‘Well, what am I going to do?’ I’m a pretty independent thinker. I pull from all sources. You got to be learned on some of these things. I listen to a lot of people, both sides of the aisle. And then I listen to local community leaders, too, because you can get a lot out of what they say. ‘You just have to be careful,’ is what I would tell any of these young men. Because we’re in difficult times. It’s a very tenuous time.”

Kelley L. Carter is a senior entertainment writer at The Undefeated. She can act out every episode of the U.S version of "The Office," she can and will sing the Michigan State University fight song on command and she is very much immune to Hollywood hotness.