DENVER – Sitting in front of a camera, Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller begins reading a disturbing message.
“I would like Von Miller to die in a grease fire.” He pauses, and then tries to continue reading before holding himself back again, processing what he just read. “A grease… fire.” The camera lingers for a time, holding his gaze.
Several other athletes are asked to read similar messages.
Minnesota Timberwolves basketball player Karl-Anthony Towns, Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, and NASCAR driver and model Danica Patrick appear on screen reading hateful messages as well, while the camera focuses on their faces.
The video, released by the Player’s Tribune, is part of a the Stand Up campaign, which aims to “harness the power of the biggest names in sports in support of the ideals of unity, togetherness and love.”
After reading the messages à la Celebrities Read Mean Tweets, the athletes move on to discuss how they have each dealt with hateful, anonymous comments from the public.
“Even though I could make it as big as possible, I just choose to not to empower it… not to give it life,” Von Miller says.
The PSA ends by asking viewers to stand up for each other and to protect each other and to come together in times and hatred and division.
“We need to stand up for each other, support and protect each other in the face of hatred and division. We need to all remember we are all Americans. We are all human. And we all need to stand up for each other.”
Watch the full video below: