A few days after sharing his own harrowing story of police brutality, North Carolina Central head coach LeVelle Moton had some choice words for his white colleagues whom have stayed silent amid the protests of George Floyd’s death.
During an appearance on ESPN Radio on Sunday, Moton pointed out how white Power 5 coaches in football and basketball have profited immensely from a heavily African-American group, but many have been quiet when it comes to the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement.
“The reality is a lot of these coaches have been able to create generational wealth,” Moton said Sunday on ESPN Radio’s Sunday Morning. “Their grandkids’ kids are gonna be able to live a prosperous life because athletes who were the complexion of George Floyd were able to run a football, throw a football, shoot a basketball or whatever have you, so they have been able to benefit from athletes that look like George Floyd and many more. But whenever people [who are] the complexion of George Floyd are killed, assassinated, murdered in the street in broad daylight, they’re silent.”
Moton had previously recounted an incident in which he and former UNC star Raymond Felton had been pulled over by a police car in 2005. Moton said he was roughly pulled out of the driver’s seat, shoved to the pavement and held at gunpoint with no explanation, until the police identified him and Felton. Apparently, he matched the description of a call they had received.
Moton said the incident left him feeling “humiliated,” “emotionally paralyzed” and “thankful just to be alive,” and claimed he kept quiet about the incident to preserve Felton’s value in the 2005 NBA draft, where he went fifth overall.
It’s not wrong to say that coaches have often remained quiet about public cases of police brutality, but Floyd’s death has caused many of the NCAA’s biggest names to speak out.
Like many of you, I’ve been watching what’s been going on the last couple of days and have had some time to think about it and pray about it. All I can tell you is I’m sick.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) May 30, 2020
A statement from Coach Izzo: pic.twitter.com/DOOI60yK4Q— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) May 30, 2020
Football coaches like Nick Saban and Mike Gundy have also voice their anger about Floyd’s death and desire for change, though obviously not all of them. These coaches are absolutely not alone in the sports world, but it can be a significant statement nonetheless.
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