At a time where many around the world are pushing for conversations about racial inequalities, the Maryland football team released its own statement Tuesday.
On May 25, George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota and video footage of police officer Derek Chauvin pinning Floyd down with a knee to the neck for over eight minutes surfaced online, sparking outrage across the globe.
Head coach Mike Locksley, athletic director Damon Evans and others in the Maryland athletic department had released statements of their own over the past few days, but this came from the student athletes themselves.
“As a football family, we are hurting. Our hearts break over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray and countless others. Many of our teammates are inconsolable as yet another Black life has been taken at the hands of law enforcement and injustice
We also recognize that our football family consists of police officers, those on campus that have always had our backs and been our biggest fans, as well as some of our parents that have dedicated their lives to protecting and serving this nation.
We want to be DIFFERENCE MAKERS so that being Black in America is something people are prideful of and not fearful of. We recognize that we need to use our platform as Division I athletes, especially because of our proximity to Washington DC, to discuss racial inequality, injustice and begin to promote equality.
We want to be more than this statement. We demand of ourselves to be LEADERS IN CREATING CHANGE. We want to spread love, unity, peace, respect and togetherness in our communities.
Our plan includes us exercising our right to vote, which unfortunately doesn’t happen enough in our age demographic. But we want to do more. We will start a community service program where we take buses and vans into the underserved areas of our community to help educate and promote voter registration. On election days, we will provide assistance to voters that typically have trouble getting to the polls. We recognize that voting is one way to invoke real change in our country and that’s why this will be a top priority for our team.
We also want to continue to educate ourselves so that we can bring light to those that lack knowledge. Our goal is to never let the conversation about race in America die down and to find a way to peacefully make significant change.
Our locker room is a melting pot of different races, upbringings and points of view. But we are united in this. We are built as ONE TEAM. We will be part of creating change. We are Made for More.”
The statement was signed at the bottom by each player in the Maryland program by jersey number.
In other news
Maryland women’s basketball picked up a 2021 from Swiss forward Emma Chardon.
Maryland Gymnastics also joined the football team in releasing a team statement on recent events in the country.
A statement from our student-athletes: pic.twitter.com/Ji1YRM3BFo— Maryland Gymnastics (@TerpsGymnastics) June 2, 2020
Teams across Maryland athletics participated in #BlackoutTuesday. Here are just a few.