When Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem, he wasn’t protesting the flag, the anthem or those who have fought to preserve our freedoms. He was trying to raise awareness of the deaths of black Americans at the hands of police officers.
Now, as rage over the death of Houston native George Floyd in Minneapolis grows, the sports world is once again stepping in to help with the difficult conversations that are necessary to achieve understanding and an end to racism and violence aimed at black people.
This was the front of the Houston Chronicle Sunday sports section.
In a tweet, University of Texas Coach Tom Herman wrote, “We must find a way to come together and use our voices to take a stand against the horrific mistreatment of African Americans and all people of color.”
“While I can’t pretend to comprehend the pain felt by the black community, I want to do my part to bring about the change we are all desperately seeking,” Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement. “This starts with an open and honest dialogue where everyone can be heard and their feelings supported.”
Fisher is white, and about two-thirds of his team is African American.
“We are all different and have all been shaped by our own diverse experiences. My life has been shaped by the many young men of all different races and religions that I have had the honor of coaching,” he said.
Floyd was a student at Texas A&M at Kingsville.
On a video message shared on Twitter, Texas Christian University Coach Gary Patterson said, “We have to do better. I have to do better. We have to be part of the solution.”
“Through our great game of football, I’ve played with and coached many African American men. While I do not pretend to have walked in their shoes, or understand how they feel, I do listen, and I do know one thing to be an answer – John 15:12,” said Texas Tech University Coach Matt Wells on Twitter.
Among the state’s professional sports teams, there have been reactions from the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and others.
Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes.
A march in Floyd’s honor is planned for 3 p.m. Tuesday in downtown Houston. The event will begin at Discovery Green park and end at Houston City Hall. Members of Floyd’s family are expected to participate.
Although arrangements have not been announced, Floyd’s funeral is expected to be held in Houston.