Ex-NFL star Congressman bewildered by Jan 6 insurrection’s ‘rage and mob mentality’


But on January 6, 2021, after witnessing the horrors of a lethal, armed rebel on the US Capitol constructing, he deemed that — in that second — such a practice was now not applicable, or certainly sensible.

“When I heard the attackers trying to get in,” Allred defined, “I took off my suit jacket coat, stood up and was prepared to fight or do whatever I had to do if somebody got on the floor.”

“It was surreal, it really was. I’ve played in some really tough atmospheres; I’ve had things thrown at me and people cursing at me, but I’ve never seen anything like the rage and mob mentality that we saw that day.”

Allred had heard the glass breaking, witnessed the doorways being hurriedly fortified and knew the Capitol constructing had been breached for the primary time in additional than 200 years.

“It really is the heart of heart of our democracy,” the 37-year-old Democratic lawmaker stated. “And to see violence come to that place, to see Americans using the American flag to attack police officers, the Confederate flag being walked through the halls of Congress — something that never happened during the Civil War, I was very sad that day.”

Eventually, Allred and his fellow lawmakers have been evacuated to security, however he stated his fellow Democrats have been glad to have him on their facet.

“A number of my colleagues told me afterwards that they felt comforted I was there and that they planned on being behind me.”

He did, nonetheless, surprise how that state of affairs would possibly in any other case have performed out. “I thought, well, I didn’t have any weapons or anything, you know?”

Allred describes the rebel as “really led by President Trump,” and “a near-death experience for our democracy.”

He was horrified by the violence within the Capitol, however equally disturbed by the animosity later that night when the lawmakers returned to the Chamber to certify the outcomes of the US presidential election.

Tensions have been nonetheless excessive, as Republicans have been accused of inspiring the mob with lies.

“There was a back and forth between some members on our side and on their side. One of their members dove into the aisle and basically said something along the lines of: ‘Let’s fight.’

Pro-Trump supporters storm the US Capitol  on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

The scene performed out however was off digital camera. It was witnessed by a CNN producer.

Lawmakers from both facet of the aisle yelled at one another to “sit down,” a tense exchange that resulted in at least a dozen other members bench clearing from their sides.

According to CNN’s Kristin Wilson, who was in the room, the situation diffused fairly quickly but tensions were high.

Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican from Maryland, confirmed the incident in a statement.

“Nothing bodily ever occurred, or was going to occur. Mr. Allred stepped in solely to ease tensions on the finish of a tough day,” he said.

“This is about three a.m.” recalled Allred. “And I used to be simply so incensed at the concept, even after all of the violence we had seen that day, that this man had not had sufficient.

“And so, I said to him, ‘Are you serious? Have you not had enough violence for one day?'”

Not for the primary time in his profession, Allred discovered himself taking part in protection, placing his 238 pound body on the road for his workforce.

“I got in his way and of course, he’s not going to try and get past me. I thought I left a background in the NFL where you handle a disagreement by putting someone on the ground.”

Representative Colin Allred, D-TX, speaks in front of the US Supreme Court on April 2, 2019.

Growing up within the 1980s in Northern Texas, Allred wasn’t not like many different younger boys dreaming of being knowledgeable athlete.

“I didn’t really think I was going to become one,” he famous, “I was very realistic about it, but I wanted to be a centerfield baseball player for the Texas Rangers.”

He was raised by a single mom and baseball was her favourite sport, however she did not care a lot for his athletic profession.

“I’d come home and say I had a great game,” he recalled, realizing that he’d inevitably be met with the response, “OK that’s fine. How’d you do on that test?”

Allred knew he’d have to depend on his training. He thought of being a health care provider and then a lawyer, however his dream of being knowledgeable athlete did not go away.

“Just kind of turned out that my body type and my talents were better for football,” he stated.

Allred attended Baylor University on a soccer scholarship and was totally anticipating a transition to regulation college when it was put to him by a scout that he may nonetheless make it to the NFL.

Allred was so not sure of his personal potential that he stated he would selflessly provide to introduce the scouts who have been him to his teammates, as a result of he thought they might have a greater likelihood of creating it.

Colin Allred of the Tennessee Titans watches the action from the sideline during a preseason game on August 11, 2007 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee.

In the 2006 NFL Draft, Allred was neglected and undrafted, however was subsequently picked up by the Titans and stayed there for 5 years.

Recalling his time in Tennessee, it is clear that the strain and expectation ready him properly for a life after sport.

“I learned how to grind it out,” he defined, “how to really focus every single day on accomplishing the task ahead of me.”

Allred needed to battle for each single yr within the squad: “You may have 10 to 12 linebackers who are there, but there’s only going to be five or six who are going to make the final roster.

“You’re going to should compete with these guys, however you are additionally going to should work with them as a result of you are going to be a part of a union, a unit.

“I was always being challenged by a new draft pick, a younger, cheaper player coming in or a free agent who was maybe expected to take my position,” he remembered, noting {that a} skilled workforce athlete is predicted to be each selfless and ruthless in equal measure.

“I always took the attitude that I’m going to compete with these guys, I’m even going to teach them how to play my role, but in the end — I’m going to beat them out.”

After a neck damage pressured his early retirement, Allred acquired round to finishing his regulation diploma, then went to work in US President Barack Obama’s administration as a Special Assistant within the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

He was additionally amongst a gaggle of Obama Administration and marketing campaign alumni who heeded the decision of the 44th President in his farewell handle to “Grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.”

Protesters break into the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Allred will need to have felt like he was again within the Titans’ locker room as he topped a crowded area of Democratic challengers in 2018, earlier than gaining the nomination for Texas’ 32nd Congressional district in a runoff and then lastly beating the 11-term Republican incumbent Pete Sessions later that yr.

At the age of 35, Allred shortly realized that his first profession had unwittingly ready him for his second.

“If you walk into any professional team’s locker room, you’ll find the strangest friendships,” he informed CNN. “You’ll find folks from very different walks of life, who find a way to be friends, to work together.

“I want that each member of a legislative physique needed to play workforce sports activities earlier than they joined that legislative physique, since you be taught a lot about the best way to work together with generally actually tough individuals and nonetheless work in direction of a typical objective.”

The former NFL linebacker arrived back in Washington halfway through Trump’s presidential term, with the country riven by vicious and hyper-partisan politics.

While it may appear that some lawmakers treat government like a game, Allred says there is a problem with making such a comparison these days.

“In sports activities,” he observes, “there may be accountability. You can watch the movie and see precisely what occurred on any given play. You can say whose fault it was, why it did work or why it did not work and everybody on the workforce accepts that widespread set of details.

“Unfortunately, in my experience, we have not had a common set of facts. We have not been able to agree on even just the problem before we start talking about the solution. I think it’s very difficult for democracies to function when you’re not agreeing on the facts.”

After the NFL, Allred grew to become a voting rights lawyer and he’s now deeply troubled by Republican-led proposed laws sweeping by state capitals all around the nation that might make it a lot more durable for many individuals to vote which critics say is focused to suppress voting in minority communities.

“What we’re going through right now is really unprecedented,” Allred lamented. “It’s something that we haven’t seen in the United States since the bad old days of Jim Crow discrimination, which was very explicit about who was and who wasn’t a full citizen.

“That’s the way you lose your democracy that is the way you slip into one thing else. We should make it possible for the sport is open to everybody.”

They used to say that “sport and politics should not combine,” that sports stars should “keep of their lane,” but that seems like a fanciful ideal today.

As athletes have seen the communities they represent harassed and downtrodden, intimidated by police brutality and silenced by voter suppression, they’ve harnessed the power of their social media platforms and are no longer kowtowing to the call of “shut up and dribble.”

They are silent no extra.

From Colin Kaepernick in the NFL to LeBron James in the NBA, to the Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka and the Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, athletes are leading the fight for social justice and racial equality globally.

“I’m so happy with the athletes right now,” Allred told CNN, “as a result of I understand how tough it’s to be an athlete on the very pinnacle of your sport. That takes a lot focus and, on the identical time, have the ability to categorical your self with any sort of readability on societal points.

“They are working on being the best they can be, but they’re insightful enough, intelligent enough to still comment and respond to really ridiculous things that are said to them.”

Allred singled out the Manchester United star Marcus Rashford for reward, a younger footballer who’s shone a lightweight on childhood poverty in Britain and who pressured the British authorities right into a U-turn on coverage in 2020.

“What he’s done for kids in the UK is, in my opinion, one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen an athlete do,” stated Allred.

“And it’s the kind of model that I think a lot of athletes will see and learn from and apply.”

Allred is anticipating different athletes to observe his journey into politics when their sporting careers are over, however he stated it will not essentially be those who’re getting all the eye now.

“There are folks who are leaders, just because of the force of their personality,” he stated. “People think of quarterbacks, people who are high profile. But that’s not the guys I’m thinking of.

“It’s the quiet leaders within the locker room who’re doing the work of their neighborhood, who’ve the respect of their teammates, have the respect of the journalists who cowl them. Those are those who I feel would make nice members of Congress, metropolis councilors, mayors. Because we’d like people who find themselves in it for the suitable causes.”

Allred hasn’t been in politics for long and he’s preparing for a long, hard fight in the years — if not decades — ahead.

“I used to have a coach,” he recalled, “who stated the one factor about all-time low is when you get there, you may at all times have one thing to push again towards in your means again up.

“I’ll never give up on us. No matter how dark it gets, we are fundamentally good people and we have a fundamentally decent community that I think will always rise to the top.”

This story has been up to date to supply better readability to what occurred throughout three a.m. incident.



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