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Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald speaks on concerns about police violence, racial division

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Posted at 12:47 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 17:12:58-04

A number of professional athletes have spoken passionately about the wave of police shootings against African-Americans in recent months.

Some athletes, such as former ASU wide receiver Jaelen Strong, have been especially critical of police, while others like Michael Jordan have donated money in the hopes of strengthening law enforcement organizations as well as the communities they serve.

In an interview with ABC15's Craig Fouhy, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said concerns about police violence are legitimate, but understands law enforcement is a vital component to the public's safety and well-being.

"(Are) there some issues that police departments have had around the country? Absolutely. But I think that without the police department, we would be in a much worse place. We would be no different than they are in Afghanistan running around crazy," the nine-time Pro Bowler said.

"Our police department, our first responders are imperative to our safety. We wouldn't be able to do the things that we are able to do and afforded to do without their support."

See also: Cardinals honor fallen Phoenix police officer before Friday's preseason opener

Fitzgerald said concerns about police brutality are not new, but the way these concerns have been shared and highlighted via social media has altered the discussion.

"I don't think anything is different from what it's been in the past. I think with social media, it's the way we gather information (that) has changed," he said.

In terms of race, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has said there's no black or white on the Cards' roster; only red.

Fitzgerald echoed his coach's sentiments.

"That's one thing I really do love about athletics," he said. "You watch the Olympics, you're seeing people competing from all over the world. I love that there's no bias over gender or race or religion; everybody can go and compete, and I really enjoy watching that."