How Victor Cruz Explained Racism to Daughter Kennedy Following George Floyd's Death

By Alyssa Ray Jun 02, 2020 8:34 PMTags

An eye-opening conversation.

On Tuesday, Pop of the Morning's Victor Cruz joined Nina Parker on Daily Pop and discussed the conversation he had with eight-year-old daughter Kennedy amid the ongoing protests following George Floyd's death.

"For starters, just trying to explain the things that, you know, she's seen. Like, George Floyd getting his neck kneed down upon by an officer. Like, I have to explain that to her," Victor shared. "Her biggest question to me was, 'Why didn't he take his knee off of his neck?'"

In order to answer this difficult question, Victor revealed he had to explain racism more in-depth to his daughter.

"And then I have to further explain, who you are and you're a young black queen and why there are gonna be some people out here that don't like you solely because of who you are and the color of your skin and where you come from," he continued.

While Victor noted that Kennedy looked "a little confused by" the initial conversation, watching the news and continuing the talk about racism has helped her understand.

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"I can tell that she understands, and I can tell that she's trying to make sense of it all," the former NFL star relayed. "I'm just happy I can be there to guide her through something like this. For as someone like myself, and even my mom, had to kind of learn on the fly…Just adapt to a world as opposed to getting someone that's been through it to kind of reach back down and give you that advice."

Nina applauded Victor's stance as "an important point to make."

"When I see the criticism of people in the street, right, I don't think that anyone feels like it's ok to loot or it's ok to burn things down," she expressed. "But especially, I feel like if you haven't had someone in your life who's been able to help you process these injustices and the oppression that people feel, it can turn into something that can only be explained as rage."


Per Victor, "it's exactly that, it's rage." In fact, the Super Bowl champ turned TV personality stated that he gets "angry" watching nine-year-old Zianna Oliphant's tearful 2016 plea in response to police shootings.

As the E! hosts mentioned at the start of the segment, Oliphant's viral speech—which was made in response to the Sept. 20, 2016 killing of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte by police—has resurfaced following a recent social media post by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

"I get angry just watching that, you know what I'm saying? I'm angry that she had to be there explaining…the fact that she even conceptualizes that at her age, and to be able to articulate that, is unfair," Victor declared. "It shouldn't happen! 'Cause, there aren't white kids out there having to have that same battle. There aren't white kids out there facing those same injustices. So, it just breaks your heart."

Nina expressed a similar sentiment, as she stated, "There's no way a little girl needs to articulate herself like that at such a young age."

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Still, both Victor and Nina expressed optimism surrounding the global demonstrations against police brutality.

"I'm optimistic right now because I feel like, of all the other times that this has happened, this is the first time that it's reached a global scale and people are upset about it," Victor shared. "People are angry and I really feel like this time there will be some changes made, because that's the only way we're gonna see a true difference is if we continue to educate ourselves, for starters, and then really see a change within these police departments and then going all the way up through the judicial system."

As for Nina, she said she's "hopeful and skeptical at the same time."

"I feel like we've been here before, but I do see certain people stepping up that hadn't before and that does leave me hopeful," she added.

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