Boston said that from his perspective, the country is going through a tragic time after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, and Breonna Taylor. But Boston has been heartened by the unity he's seen through peaceful protests across the nation.
"We're starting to get people to open their eyes to the injustice, the social injustice, the systemic racism, oppression," Boston said. "People are finally taking ownership of that and are willing to listen."
While the country has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, Boston noted that a silver lining has been that players have been able to participate in these protests where they may not have had time to do so in the past based on the football calendar. But Boston also acknowledged the shift in mindset that's happened throughout the league for players, who are now being encouraged to use their voices and platforms for social justice causes.
"I think in 2016, we saw a world that even with peaceful protesting with (Colin Kaepernick), we saw a world that just didn't understand — again, were misinformed, but not willing to listen nor hear what we were saying," Boston said. "But it's not like that anymore."
Boston added that he's received calls of support from members of the Panthers' front office and coaching staff, including team owner David Tepper.
"He understands how he got his and he's willing to help," Boston said of Tepper. "That's all it's about, just listening, hearing, and just be able to have empathy like human beings that we are. It doesn't take you being on this wing or that wing — it's all the same bird. But we're all the same human. We're humans. So between '16 and '20 now, it's just people are more receptive. And we're seeing that we have to listen to have that ownership to get this country where we want it to be."
You can click here to listen to Boston's entire interview with Rapoport on Westwood One Sports.
Tre Boston played with Carolina from 2013-16 and then returned in 2019.