Ohio State Coaches, Recruits And Players Speak Out After Killing Of George Floyd

By May 30, 2020 (5:08 pm)Patrick Mayhorn, Sports
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Dozens of Ohio State coaches, athletes and recruits are speaking out on social media in response to the killing of Minnesota man George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, which has sparked nationwide protest.

Among the Buckeyes taking a stance against the brutality that led to Floyd’s death are several university leaders, including president Michael Drake, athletic director Gene Smith, head football coach Ryan Day, head basketball coach Chris Holtmann, head women’s basketball coach Kevin McGuff and several assistants for both the football and basketball teams.

Drake and Smith both released statements on May 29 expressing their horror at Floyd’s death.

“On behalf of The Ohio State University, I want to express our horror and disgust at the brutality and inhumanity we witnessed this week in Minneapolis,” Drake said in a statement. “I am heartsick at seeing the death of yet another unarmed man in police custody, and yet another example of the racism that has crippled our nation for so very long.  We must seriously and concretely redouble our efforts to end abuse, discrimination, bigotry and hatred. I have reached out to leaders in our community to deepen and extend our dialogue on how to actively address racial injustice. We have witnessed despicable acts like this far too many times in our lives.

“We must work as one to live up to our values and to create the just society that is our birthright.”

Day and Holtmann echoed those sentiments, as did several assistant coaches, including linebackers coach Al Washington, and basketball assistants Ryan Pedon, Terry Johnson and Jake Diebler.

Basketball players Justin Ahrens and Kyle Young expressed desire for change. Young said in a Tweet that he’s “sick to his stomach after seeing yet another innocent man’s life was taken.” Harvard transfer Seth Towns was involved in protests on Friday.

Linebacker Teradja Mitchell, defensive end Zach Harrison and quarterback Danny Vanatsky all sent out similar Tweets, as did former Buckeye cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, a long-time advocate for civil rights, and former Ohio State and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

Future Buckeyes including halfback TreVeyon Henderson, defensive end Tunmise Adeyele and defensive tackle Michael Hall shared their thoughts as well.

Adeyele has spoken strongly in support of the nationwide protests, posting on May 29 that “inaction is action, y’all see what’s happening now, make the choice, do you care enough to speak out?”