Former Ohio State fullback Dionte Johnson's downtown Columbus shoe and apparel store, Sole Classics, was damaged and looted during a protest in response to the killing of George Floyd on Friday night.
Multiple videos surfaced on social media that showed people breaking into Johnson's store and stealing items.
This video was just sent to me... High Street in Columbus. This is the new locations of @SoleClassics ... a store who is owned by Dionte Johnson. This is sickening and proves no point. pic.twitter.com/PMFlJbUffT— Bobby Levine (@BroadcastBob66) May 30, 2020
On Sunday, Johnson shared an Instagram post with a donation link for anyone who wants to help pay for the damages and lost inventory. Any donations that exceed the costs of Sole Classics' damages will be donated to neighboring minority-owned small businesses that were also damaged during the protests, Johnson said.
DONATION LINK IN BIO. Note: Due to limited inventory it may be hard to find your size on our website right now. We are still working on updating the inventory. Thank you for your patience and understanding. - On May 29th our shop was looted and destructed by a group of individuals. In the moment we were angry and looking for answers, however, within minutes after the incident we began to receive an out-pour of love and support from our local and global community looking for ways to help. That love immediately helped to overpower the negativity. We have been asked to create a donation link to help in recovery efforts. Although we do not yet have a set dollar amount for recovery, we do believe that we will exceed our goal, so we will also be using any excess donations to contribute to neighboring minority-owned small businesses who have been damaged as well. Thank you in advance for your love, empathy and support. Link in bio.
Johnson expressed his gratitude for the outpouring of support he has received over the past two days, and said on Twitter that he will not be pursuing criminal charges against the looters. In an Instagram post, Johnson expressed that he is “not worried about the stuff, I'm worried about the people.”
I have pics of every one of them but at the end of the day, kids need outlets, not criminal records all of the time. It was wrong, but a lot has been wrong for a long time. Ima hit yall with that link tho. Gotta catch a couple of Zzzs soon tho.— Dionte' (@DionteSays) May 30, 2020
Theres protesting, rioting, then there is looting. Im not worried about the stuff, Im worried about the people. Yall stay safe. Dont worry, we are in action to figure out how we can meet with the powers that be on ways to create outlets. This wasnt about crime on a black business, this had deeper roots. See yall after things cool off. Love, Sc. THIS IS ON US! For generations we have called the youth stupid, taken funding from their programs, kicked them out of places and ignored them. What would you expect? Dont lock your doors tighter, open your hearts wider. Spread love, Sc. Drop a positive message to the youth in our comments.
Johnson, an Ohio State team captain who played for the Buckeyes from 2004-07, purchased Sole Classics from its original owners in 2010. The store has since expanded to two locations, one in the Short North (846 North High Street) and one in Dublin (6391 Sawmill Road).