Players and coaches have voiced their opinions and offered their perspectives in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Additionally, I offer some of my own.
During the past week, massive public protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd have been held across the nation and beyond. With the topic of police brutality against African-Americans now reaching an all-time high, millions have come forward with their thoughts and feelings on matters of privilege, racial injustices and the systemic inequality from which these injustices were born.
Personally, as a multiracial, 27-year-old born and raised in the state of Oklahoma, I’ve come to understand the severity of these problems through my own lived experiences. Though I’ve never been the subject of police brutality, I’ve certainly experienced what it’s like to receive different treatment due to the color of my skin. I have been asked to leave my backpack behind the counter inside a store so I don’t use it to steal. I received harsher punishment in school for getting into the same kind of juvenile trouble as my white friends. I’m constantly told how articulate I am (which is not a compliment for a black man). These are instances that have always been normal to me, and it wasn’t until I went to OU that I realized normal doesn’t always mean acceptable.
In light of these conversations currently taking place, here are a number of statements recently made from Oklahoma Sooners coaches and players alike. As the faces of the flagship program for one of the most recognizable brands in collegiate athletics, it’s important that these student-athletes and leaders of men use the power of their platform to educate us all on these difficult issues from their own unique perspectives and experiences.
Head coach Lincoln Riley:
I ALWAYS stand with my players and I am thankful that I was raised in a home that taught me that no human, regardless of race, religion,
or any other factor…should ever be treated differently…we have a long ways to go as a society- I am committed to being a part of the change
— Lincoln Riley (@LincolnRiley) May 31, 2020
Running backs coach DeMarco Murray:
Cornerbacks coach Roy Manning:
VIOLENCE is NOT the answer but NEITHER is SILENCE! pic.twitter.com/uJsAFUKdBl
— Roy Manning (@CoachRoyM) May 31, 2020
Outside linebackers coach Jamar Cain:
Inside wide receivers/tight ends coach Cale Gundy:
My heart is broken & sad for our country right now. The pain & suffering our black community is & has gone thru needs to stop. I have & always will stand against any form of racial injustice. I STAND WITH YOU DEMANDING CHANGE! #TOGETHER
— Cale Gundy (@OU_CoachGundy) June 1, 2020
Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh:
Inside linebackers coach Brian Odom:
Redshirt junior safety Justin Broiles spoke to a crowd during a peaceful protest in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
It’s on US, the hardwork of changing something that’s been in place for 400 years…Millennials…We’ve had the “event” now it’s time to respond! ⏳#educateyourself #educatetheyouth #GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/P5BYJZJeZN
— Justin Broiles (@JustinbroilesJ) June 1, 2020
Redshirt senior defensive back Chanse Sylvie graduated in December of ‘18 with a degree in political science and is currently pursuing a master’s in criminal justice. On Sunday, he shared some of his unique perspective and experiences, then provided his ideas for reforming policies for unlawful policing in America.
When the protest ends what will remain ? Steps for reforming policing in America ! pic.twitter.com/FOI6Q8oO2j
— Chanse Sylvie (@ChanseSylvie) June 1, 2020
OU football players Jadon Haselwood and Jamal Morris are among those at the protest in front of the jail. pic.twitter.com/jHp7OLow2H
— Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) May 31, 2020
Also from Haselwood:
You’re no fan of mine or any African American athlete if you believe police brutality is ok
— Jadon Haselwood (@jadon_haselwood) May 28, 2020
Senior cornerback Tre Brown:
Tired of saying we gotta do better in this world smh ..
— Tre Brown (@T_Brown25) May 26, 2020
Redshirt junior center Creed Humphrey:
Redshirt junior wide receiver Charleston Rambo:
Praying for change.
— Charleston Rambo (@CharlestonRambo) May 30, 2020
Junior linebacker DaShaun White:
If only the world was like The University of Oklahoma’s football team… love these dudes man
— DaShaun White (@dmw23_) June 1, 2020
C&C Machine Staff
Kamiar Mehrabian, Contributor:
YOU CANNOT know what it’s like to have brown skin in the USA unless you’re born that way.
YOU CANNOT make light of injustices happening to other people because they didn’t happen to you.
YOU CAN empathize and TRY your best to understand the plight of these people.
I have HOPE
— K. Mehrabian (@KMehrabianCCM) May 31, 2020
Seth Oliveras, Contributor:
Black Lives Matter is a controversial statement, but it’s not intended to be. This is what I understand it to mean. Imagine your arm is broken, so you go to the doctor. She tells you “all your bones matter.” You say “yes, but I’m here to fix the broken one.”
Hope this helps.
— S. Alexandre (@SethOliveras) May 30, 2020
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