Botham Shem Jean's cousin pens open letter asking the Dallas Cowboys to 'take a knee' for her slain loved one

Members of Botham Shem Jean’s family asked the Dallas Cowboys to kneel before Sunday’s game. (Photo: Getty Images)
Members of Botham Shem Jean’s family asked the Dallas Cowboys to kneel before Sunday’s game. (Photo: Getty Images)

Nearly two weeks after Botham Shem Jean was killed in his own apartment by off-duty Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, his cousin asked for the Dallas Cowboys to take a knee in his honor.

In an open letter addressed to the team on her personal Facebook page, Pertula Redd wrote on Sunday about her experience coming to Texas for the first time in August 2000 from her “small home” in St. Lucia and the difficult process of calling it her home. The one thing she recalls bringing herself and other Texans together, however, was rooting for the NFL team and wearing her Cowboys pride — especially as the team provided her with her very first summer job.

“Having not yet adjusted to the Texas heat and my skinny frame draped in a large Dallas Cowboys event staff T-shirt, I walked to my very first summer gig as a security guard for your team,” she wrote. “Like most of my West Indian classmates at Midwestern State University, I took pride in wearing the over-sized T-shirt and showing up for the Cowboys. For many years, the Caribbean students at Midwestern State made this a favorite summer tradition.”

But after Sept. 6, when her cousin was fatally shot in his apartment by off-duty police officer Amber Guyger, Redd is now turning to the Cowboys for support yet again. This time under more public and political circumstances.

After reiterating the hardship of losing a family member, she ultimately asked the team to “forget about race, forget about the stars and the stripes, and forget about the anthem,” and instead to think about the injustice that took place against another human being.

Botham Shem Jean did not take his possessions with him when he left this earth so tragically and violently. He did not take with him his skin color or his nationality. I imagine that he took with him the higher understanding that all human beings have a purpose on this earth. Like Jesus, Bob Marley, Martin Luther King Jr., and many other change-makers, Botham Shem Jean earned his wings at a young age, and we are responsible for continuing his work on this earth,” she continued. “Perhaps this was part of his purpose and higher calling and that he and his creator agreed to the terms of his transition. Perhaps we can all take a knee because he can’t even take a breath.”

Last October, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told SportsDay that players who took a knee wouldn’t play. Even after Redd’s plea on Sunday, the team stuck with Jones’s policy.

Civil rights activist Shaun King took to his Twitter to make the team’s lack of response known while also highlighting the arrests of nine peaceful protesters at the same game. The protesters’ time in jail has lasted longer than Guyger’s after Jean’s fatal shooting.

With only two games down of the Cowboys’s official season, there’s still hope that the post goes viral enough for the team to actually see it and maybe even respond.

Neither the Dallas Cowboys nor Redd has yet responded to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

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‘Stop acting like animals:’ Louisiana HS teacher posts racist rant in reply to Kaepernick ad
A patriotic 10-year-old boy gets out of his wheelchair and stands for the national anthem

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