The stream of athletes and coaches, black and white, reacting to the police killing Monday of George Floyd and racial injustice in the U.S. continued to flow Saturday. Two ideas converged: Work together to fight racism and, above all, do not stay silent any longer.
Mostly missing were mentions of the nationwide demonstrating, rioting and looting that has occurred in the days after Floyd’s death at the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The focus instead was on getting all races to invest in eliminating race-based hate.
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Below is a selection of the more insightful and forceful quotes pulled from social media platforms as the anger, frustration and sadness over Floyd’s death remains raw.
Tom Izzo, Michigan State men’s basketball coach
“Over the last few months we’ve often heard ‘we’re all in this together.’ That’s never been more true than it is now. If we are going to fight racism, it’s a burden we all share, regardless of the color of our skin. We are facing a giant problem, and the solutions aren’t easy — but that can’t stop us from trying.”
Dwane Casey, Pistons coach
“We have to change the way we see and hear each other. We have to work together to find solutions to make the justice system just. Black, white and brown people have to work together to find new answers. The only way we can stop the systemic problems that people of color have faced all our lives is through honesty and transparency. We have to understand why people are at their limit at this moment. It takes empathy, in its truest form. It takes a culture shift, it takes action.”
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Byron Buxton, Twins outfielder
“It’s unbearable to even think about what’s happening in our city and throughout the country, but things have to CHANGE. African Americans have been slaughtered left and right for nothing more than the color of our skin. That is reality and it has been ignored far too long. DEMAND PROGRESS – DEMAND JUSTICE for George Floyd.”
Marcus Stroman, Mets pitcher
“Racism is engrained in our society/culture and the world seems incapable of change. To change the world we must begin with ourselves. Truly look in the mirror and identify if you’re part of the problem or the solution. Your true colors will always be revealed!
Asher Wojciechowski, Orioles pitcher
“I will listen to your experiences, I will speak when I witness injustice, I will amplify the messages of the black community so your thoughts and ideas are heard in your own voice. I will educate myself. I am with you. I am your ally.”
Will Muschamp, South Carolina football coach
Logan Couture, Sharks forward
“I’ve had the opportunity to play with some incredible teammates. Black, white, all colors. Getting to listen to them talk about things they have gone through in hockey/life is eye opening. As a society and as hockey players we are only scraping the surface in fixing what desperately needs fixing.”
(Posted on his Twitter feed in reaction to comments by teammate Evander Kane, who is black)
Preston Wilson, MLB Network analyst, ex-MLB player
“It’s the first time I have ever seen it happen on this scale. The younger generation is saying it’s time for change. Few if any age 35 and up have weighed in[;] maybe they will follow the lead of those like (Joe Burrow) and (Trevor Lawrence) who are speaking up.”
Burrow, the first overall selection in this year’s NFL Draft, and Lawrence, the likely first selection in next year’s draft, posted tweets Friday saying that white people, and in particular white athletes like themselves, need to bring their influence to bear on the situation. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and ESPN host Jalen Rose have stood out in making similar appeals.