The despicable, abhorrent, unconscionable murder of George Floyd has touched myriad aspects of our society. College football is no different.
Monday night, 46-year-old George Floyd died after a Minneapolis Police Department officer took a knee on the man’s neck. For several minutes. Floyd was a black man. The police officer is a white man.
“I can’t breathe, please, the knee in my neck. I can’t move … my neck … I’m through, I’m through.”
Four police officers connected to the death of Floyd were fired. The white officer who murdered Floyd, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged in the black man’s death. The 19-year veteran of the force is facing one count each of of third-degree murder and manslaughter.
In the days since, college football coaches have decried the fatal brutality. On the Rich Eisen Show Thursday, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh spoke about the “horrendous… outrageous” murder (my words, not the coach’s) of George Floyd.
On Twitter in the ensuing days, Harbaugh’s colleagues at the collegiate level — including one ex-coach who is now an athletic director — have used their platform to decry the senseless murder of George Floyd.
Some of them, including Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin (HERE), Florida State’s Mike Norvell (HERE), Tulsa’s Philip Montgomery (HERE), Troy’s Chip Lindsey (HERE) and UTSA’s Jeff Traylor (HERE), retweeted the powerful words of Tony Dungy.
As I have watched the events in Minneapolis unfold the last few days I have wondered & prayed about how I should respond. Below are my thoughts. I hope you read the whole thing because the final thought is most important. Romans 12:21 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/9uTtk0R9gW
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) May 29, 2020
Others sent out their own messages.
One of two. pic.twitter.com/gSc5ScEAgl
— Kevin Sumlin (@CoachSumlin) May 31, 2020
Two of two. pic.twitter.com/11BrnqprQk
— Kevin Sumlin (@CoachSumlin) May 31, 2020
I can only speak to my thoughts, feelings and emotions as another restless night gave way to my thoughts and prayers for the Floyd family.
— Derek Mason (@CoachDerekMason) May 30, 2020
— James Franklin (@coachjfranklin) May 30, 2020
— Mel Tucker (@Coach_mtucker) May 30, 2020
— Michael Locksley (@CoachLocks) May 30, 2020
— Jimmy Lake (@CoachLakeUDUB) May 30, 2020
— Dave Aranda (@CoachDaveAranda) May 31, 2020
A message from head coach Chip Kelly: pic.twitter.com/AfiWQ8fvi9
— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) June 1, 2020
K-STATE is family, we stand together pic.twitter.com/UVQvxDQx5w
— Chris Klieman (@CoachKli) June 1, 2020
— Mike Leach (@Coach_Leach) May 31, 2020
— Dan Mullen (@CoachDanMullen) June 1, 2020
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
Statement from Head Coach Jimbo Fisher: pic.twitter.com/5Uq5yvOWPl
— Texas A&M Football (@AggieFootball) May 30, 2020
— Matt Campbell (@ISUMattCampbell) May 31, 2020
— Mike Gundy (@CoachGundy) May 31, 2020
I’m with you. pic.twitter.com/4Jv2uNtrob
— Les Miles (@CoachLesMiles) May 31, 2020
— Clay Helton (@USCCoachHelton) May 30, 2020
Just a few words and thoughts that life experiences have led me to believe. pic.twitter.com/qCgmZvHkc8
— David Cutcliffe (@DavidCutcliffe) May 31, 2020
Statement from Justin Wilcox: pic.twitter.com/sBTIKckjJF
— Cal Football (@CalFootball) May 31, 2020
— Jonathan Smith (@Coach_Smith) May 31, 2020
Just my thoughts pic.twitter.com/PMUB6y9e7J
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) May 30, 2020
Be a Light pic.twitter.com/MsU0UiRayO
— Neal Brown (@NealBrown_WVU) May 30, 2020
— Coach Satterfield (@CoachSattUofL) May 30, 2020
My Thoughts: pic.twitter.com/aHGBd30tnk
— Bronco Mendenhall (@UVACoachBronco) May 30, 2020
— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) May 30, 2020
Maya Angelou’s words could never be more important than right now. “Hate: it has caused a lot of problems in this world. But it has not solved one yet.”
We must come together and end this unacceptable violence and hate.
— Jeff Hafley (@CoachJeffHafley) May 30, 2020
As so many of us have seen and felt, I deeply hurt for the injustice we have in our country. We must find a way to treat each other the way we want to be treated, with unity and respect. As a nation, we must overcome it. And we must begin now. 🙏
— Mark Stoops (@UKCoachStoops) May 30, 2020
— Dave Doeren (@StateCoachD) May 30, 2020
I pray for Justice. I pray for the courage to stand for what is right. I pray for the end of hate n our country. I pray for those hurting, and afraid. I pray that we see the NEED FOR CHANGE🙏 pic.twitter.com/rCl7jzfBIr
— Eliah Drinkwitz (@CoachDrinkwitz) May 30, 2020
— Matt Wells ŦŦ (@TTUCoachWells) May 30, 2020
The recent tragedies in Georgia and Minnesota are unacceptable. The violence has to stop. We talk about communication, trust and respect. There’s not much of that right now and it continues to tear us apart. Listen, learn, empathize. Let’s come together and change for the better.
— Mack Brown (@CoachMackBrown) May 29, 2020
Thanks to @CoralGablesPD Chief @ehudakjr for speaking to our team today about ACCOUNTABILITY & JUSTICE. We stand together in the condemnation of the actions of the officers that led to the death of George Floyd while under custody. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd
— Manny Diaz (@Coach_MannyDiaz) May 29, 2020
We value you Coach Barclay, and we stand with you and all those who are committed to social justice and equality. It is time for change!! https://t.co/rrQWuex5He
— Jeff Brohm (@JeffBrohm) May 30, 2020
— Nick Rolovich (@NickRolovich) May 31, 2020
— Ken Niumatalolo (@NAVYCoachKen) May 31, 2020
— Bryan Harsin (@CoachHarsin) May 30, 2020
— Josh Heupel (@coachjoshheupel) May 30, 2020
We cannot stand for racial injustice!We cannot be silent with the issues that are before us!
We must come together and change!
— Ryan Silverfield (@RSilverfield) May 30, 2020
— Coach Jeff Scott (@coach_jeffscott) May 30, 2020
I’m deeply saddened by the senseless and tragic murder of George Floyd. My thoughts and prayers are with the Floyd family.
I will lend my voice and stand proudly with those committed to change. #hoUSton
— Dana Holgorsen (@Holgorsendana) May 30, 2020
— Butch Davis (@FIUCoachDavis) June 1, 2020
— Skip Holtz (@CoachSHoltz) June 1, 2020
— Coach Arroyo (@coacharroyo) May 31, 2020
— Coach Stock (@CoachStock) May 31, 2020
— COACH BILLY NAPIER (@coach_bnapier) May 31, 2020
— Ricky Rahne (@RickyRahne) May 30, 2020
Statement from Head Football Coach Tom Arth pic.twitter.com/sRXh5e9xfP
— Akron Zips Football (@ZipsFB) June 1, 2020
— Jake Spavital (@JakeSpavital) May 30, 2020
We all have an obligation to stand against injustice. If we don’t realize that change is needed, our continued path of apathy and indifference will only continue to divide us. Don’t sit this one out, don’t be a spectator. Try to understand each other and love each other.
— Seth Littrell (@SethLittrell) May 30, 2020
— Lance Leipold (@CoachLeipold) May 30, 2020
On this day I want to send my love♥️and support💯to my players, staff, recruits and their families.
Today I pray for…
•Kindness, and Understanding
I encourage my players to be GENTLEMAN. Manners and how we talk to each other matters.
— Jay Norvell (@CoachJayNorvell) May 31, 2020
Events that have taken place over the past days, weeks, & years that have highlighted racial inequality in our country are disheartening. My thoughts and prayers are with the Floyd family & all who have lost loved ones due to racial injustice. We are committed to positive change. https://t.co/nHeDJqe5LU
— Rod Carey (@TUCoachCarey) May 31, 2020
— John Doc Holliday (@DOCMUFB) May 31, 2020
Identify there is a problem, work to fix the problem. pic.twitter.com/8BWCvQ7DQt
— ⚡️ Sean Lewis ⚡️ (@TheOC_CoachLew) May 29, 2020
— Coach Mike Neu (@BSUCoachNeu) May 30, 2020
Jesus Christ is the ONLY way… praying for our country more than ever. As Christians we must be that example of Christ’s unconditional love for ALL. pic.twitter.com/7A7Dx6iu99
— Blake Anderson (@CHbanderson) May 30, 2020
Love is something we all want & should always try to give to others…Our own selfishness often times gets in the way and we screw it up!
— Coach Chad Lunsford (@chadlunsford) May 29, 2020
I am so sad about these horrible events that have occurred over my lifetime…. There are so many wonderful, smart, and loving people in our country….. we need to come together and fix it. pic.twitter.com/xDjIhjizF0
— Scot Loeffler (@CoachLoefflerBG) May 31, 2020
— Shawn Clark (@coach_sclark) May 30, 2020
— Coach Tom Herman (@CoachTomHerman) May 30, 2020
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
— Ryan Day (@ryandaytime) May 29, 2020
— UMass Football (@UMassFootball) May 28, 2020
I learned a lot from listening to our Leadership Council today. pic.twitter.com/soLEtIPQXF
— Mario Cristobal (@coach_cristobal) May 29, 2020
My heart is broken by what is going on in our country. Racial injustice is wrong and it MUST be addressed!! I Believe we are to LOVE EACH OTHER! No matter one’s skin color. Love is a choice. Our prayers are with George Floyd’s family. John 15:12 #LEO
— Coach Tom Allen (@CoachAllenIU) May 29, 2020
Silence at a time like this is unacceptable, and complicit, especially from those who are privileged. Racism cannot be ignored. We can be better. We MUST be better.
We ALL have a responsibility if we’re going to fight systems of oppression.
Listen, love, respect, act. 💜
— Pat Fitzgerald (@coachfitz51) May 29, 2020
Statement from Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez pic.twitter.com/KS8Al5aFsr
— Wisconsin Badgers (@UWBadgers) May 29, 2020
Some of the most meaningful
moments in my life were spent
Standing w/ Players & Coaches
I Love & Respect regardless of
Race, Color or Creed.
— Coach Collins🏆🏆🏆🏆 (@CoachCollins) May 29, 2020
— P.J. Fleck (@Coach_Fleck) May 30, 2020
Our football program is devastated by the tragic loss of life that occurred in Minneapolis earlier this week. It’s difficult to explain to my children how this can happen in our country in 2020. Everyone in the United States deserves the right to feel protected and safe.
— Dave Clawson (@CoachClawson) May 30, 2020