UD Athletes respond to the killing of George Floyd, racial injustice
When George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, a movement began throughout the country and eventually extended to Dayton (and beyond).
This new movement has given UD athletes and the athletic program as a whole the opportunity to be heard.
From the athletic program at UD, a statement was posted to social media on Blackout Tuesday, June 2, that was short in length but represented solidarity.
The Dayton Flyers stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of color against racism, hate, and discrimination. Black lives matter. #BlackoutTuesday pic.twitter.com/iPMn9aRFCL
— Dayton Flyers (@DaytonFlyers) June 2, 2020
With millions around the world raising their voices against racism and injustice, men’s basketball senior center Jordy Tshimanga used his platform and poetry prowess to deliver a powerful message condemning racial injustice on May 27.
View this post on Instagram
You condemn violence but that’s when you listen “Hate Will Never Win” but theres too much tension The rules you made are the same ones you brake Outside of social media, how many more lives you take? Deviating from the subject as if it’s irrelevant Praying hands on the media but truly got no sentiment Scrolling past the issues & eventually hope we do the same If you keeping quiet then you can also take the blame. You only show love when we entertain you Acting clueless but these issues ain’t new Choose to turn the eye even when we cry for help Kneel on the oppressed and took a black man’s breath. ••This hasn’t been sitting well and I think we all need to do our parts… if you TRULY want a change. #IDo #WhereIsTheJustice #justiceforfloyd #LoveToAllWhoHAVELoveForAll
Then, on Blackout Tuesday, Tshimanga once again took to social media to shed light on the injustices that black people face on a daily basis.
As the country we live in continues to find ways to work together to fight against racism and injustice, the statements made by Tshimanga and others show just how important it is that we stand with the black community.
In an effort to cut off any interaction with racism or support people with racist tendencies, the University of Dayton cut ties with McAfee Heating and Air.
— Dayton Flyers (@DaytonFlyers) June 5, 2020
One other way those connected to UD athletics have fought for change is attending protests.
Men’s basketball head coach Anthony Grant, was given an opportunity to speak up when his son, Anthony Jr., was arrested while protesting in downtown Dayton May 30.
Coach Grant responded with a powerful statement to Dayton Daily News that shows how important protests are in the fight against systemic racism.
“As a father of three boys and one daughter, I’ve always tried to educate my children to understand that they have freedom of choice, but not freedom from the consequences of their choices,” Grant said.
“As his father, I stand proud of his willingness to stand for what he believes is right and worthy. As an African-American father, I am also very aware of the risk of health, life, and future opportunities he is faced with in a society that marginalizes men of color and especially those with a history of priors with law enforcement. Injustices like what we as a nation have most recently witnessed with George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery or Central Park bird watcher Christian Cooper, leave me and millions of other fair-minded human beings with a lot of emotions to process. I ask that my family be allowed to address the consequences of my son’s decisions as a family and with the same degree of privacy and respect you would want for your own.”
“Thank you and God Bless!”
Charges of disorderly conduct and riot have been cleared, but according to the Dayton Daily News, “charges of ‘misconduct at emergency’ and ‘obstructing official business’ are waiting court action.”
As the world continues to fight for justice and equality for all, UD athletes and coaches have done what they can to spread a message of unity and support.