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Patriots team captain Matthew Slater explains what Black History Month means to him

Related: 5-time nominee Matthew Slater finally wins NFL’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

With Black History Month underway, New England Patriots team captain Matthew Slater took the time to speak about the celebration of Black heritage in the United States. Appearing in a video published on the Patriots’ social media channels, he touched on a variety of topics from a personal to a societal level.

“It’s important to make that connection: Black history is a part of American history, and as Americans we can learn so much from our history,” Slater said. “What we’ve been and where we are headed are important and that link is important. Celebrating Black history is an important part of that process.

“I know for me, as a Black American, I am thankful for the men and women who sacrificed so much for me to be able to do what I do today and live the life that I live today.”

A fifth-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2008, Slater has become arguably the best special teamer in NFL history. The three-time Super Bowl winner has been honored for his work both on and off the field: besides being voted to 10 Pro Bowls, he also received the Bart Starr Award in 2017 and the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award just earlier this year.

Slater has also been instrumental in establishing weekly social justice meetings in the Patriots organization following the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police in 2020.