With protests taking place around the country following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on Monday, many Ohio State coaches – including men's basketball coach Chris Holtmann and football coach Ryan Day – and athletes took to social media on Friday to speak out about the situation and denounce racism.
Holtmann made a statement on Twitter on Friday morning, accompanied by a quote from civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., and each of his assistant coaches – Terry Johnson, Ryan Pedon and Jake Diebler – also shared his tweet with their own thoughts.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. Martin Luther King Jr. pic.twitter.com/xu0lPBVM1t— Chris Holtmann (@ChrisHoltmann) May 29, 2020
In the 7 years I have worked along side you you have been authentic in these conversations about justice with our staff and players. Thanks Coach, for using your platform for better. https://t.co/rIG9usTCrA— Terry Johnson (@CoachTLJohnson) May 29, 2020
Amen, Coach. Thankful that we work for a boss that will always stand up for what is right. https://t.co/nQON63B1rP— Ryan Pedon (@ryanpedon) May 29, 2020
We MUST unite against racism.— Jake Diebler (@CoachJDiebler) May 29, 2020
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - MLK Jr
Thankful for the way you lead our program Coach. https://t.co/zRLchpJrYI
Ohio State basketball players Justin Ahrens and Kyle Young also advocated for change with tweets on Friday.
100%. Its really a sick world we live in & something gotta change. I was raised to spread PEACE LOVE & POSITIVITY. Regardless of your skin color, political power, how much money u have etc. We get ONE chance at this thing called life & I watched a man die face down in cuffs? Smh https://t.co/kW97MJGjpt— Justin Ahrens (@ahrensjustin12) May 28, 2020
Im sick to my stomach after seeing yet another innocent mans life was taken. Racism is an evil that is still lurking around. In no way can you justify it. Those of us who dont experience this discrimination need to speak up. I pray God pulls us out of these very dark times!— Kyle Young (@kyle_young25) May 29, 2020
Day and several of his assistant coaches, including Al Washington, Kevin Wilson, Brian Hartline and Larry Johnson, were among those from the football program who shared messages on Twitter calling for change.
Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are asoutragedas those who are.— Ryan Day (@ryandaytime) May 29, 2020
As a Family We Pray - Asking for the Health of Our State, Country, & World as we Fight Covid-19 Pandemic— Kevin Wilson (@OSUCoachKDub) May 30, 2020
Prayer for Love, Respect, Empathy & Understanding - Prayer for Change!! Prayers that Our Children & Players will Grow & Live in a World of Change, Love & Respect for All
Man, there are a lot of emotions and thoughts that go thru my head while I watch that and idk which one to talk about.— Brian Hartline (@brianhartline) May 30, 2020
But one thing I know is this guy is freaking incredible and I might want to live in ATL now! #PassionandPrideforCommunity#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd https://t.co/zVZPpQ7ZsL
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.#MLK— Larry A. Johnson (@R2X_Rushmen1) May 30, 2020
Current and former Ohio State football players who have shared their thoughts on social media include Zach Harrison, Teradja Mitchell, Joe Burrow and Malcolm Jenkins, while several Buckeye commits have also commented, including Tunmise Adeleye, TreVeyon Henderson, Michael Hall and Kyle McCord.
Shouldnt have to fear for my life when I see a police officer.— Teradja Mitchell (@teradja_) May 27, 2020
There is so much hate in this world— Zachary Uchiha (@zacharrison_) May 28, 2020
Being a white man, I will never be able to fully empathize with what Black Americans have gone through and continue to deal with in this country. However, I am able to stand beside my brothers and sisters as they fight to not just be heard, but to facilitate tangible changes.— dan (@Danny_Vanatsky) May 29, 2020
Let's respond to injustice, but it's how we respond that makes the difference. pic.twitter.com/N1tUyFsb0r— Master W. Teague III (@MasterTeagueIII) May 30, 2020
Who protects us from the Police?Charge and convict the murderers of George Floyd ! pic.twitter.com/90hN3AmNYo— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) May 27, 2020
Dont apologize trey theyre uncomfortable cause they know what were saying is true https://t.co/1QYriNDLLF— (@TunmiseAdeleye) May 29, 2020
The times that we are going through in todays society with the virus outbreak and innocent people dying etc... this is the time to get closer to the people you love and cherish these moments forever because tomorrow isnt promised for anyone...— tr p (@MichaelHallJr_) May 29, 2020
I pray every night that all my black friends stay safe... especially during times like these. #BLM— Kyle McCord (@kylemccord16) May 31, 2020
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and university president Michael Drake also shared their thoughts on Friday night.
Some thoughts about the events that transpired this week: pic.twitter.com/axE3rwsfPz— gene smith (@OSU_AD) May 29, 2020
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.— Michael V. Drake (@OSUPrezDrake) May 29, 2020
We must seriously and concretely redouble our efforts to end abuse, discrimination, bigotry and hatred.
On behalf of the university, Drake said he has “reached out to leaders in our community to deepen and extend our dialogue on how to actively address racial injustice.”