The national protests far and wide have hit home in California as the nation continues to try to make peace with the senseless murder of George Floyd. The major athletic universities have been some of the leading voices during the protests for change, speaking in solidarity for members of all communities.
The UCLA Bruins athletic programs have been no different, speaking out across social media with messages geared towards grievances, seeking solace as well as promoting change towards a positive future.
UCLA’s track & field director Avery Anderson delivered a particularly powerful message, saying:
“Like other rough patches in life, I’ve found it easier to unshackle myself from hate and walk forward with love. As much as the death of George Floyd still stings, I’m going to convert that anguish and positively go out and make the change happen that I want to see.”
Anderson’s message continued on further and is in full here.
UCLA football coach Chip Kelly wrote a message to be shared across the football’s Twitter account:
“The past few days have been very difficult. It’s hard to see our community - and humanity - so deeply hurting. The pain is felt by everyone in our Bruin family.
In a time of such tragic destruction, we have been trying to understand how to best offer support to our players. I saw this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
“It is not enough for people to be angry,” Dr. King said in 1968. “The supreme task is to organize and unite people so that their anger becomes a transforming force.”
Dr. King’s example resonates more than a half-century later. We must listen to each other, and learn from each other, and realize that all of us are connected to the sorrow and suffering and anger. We must unite, it is our only hope, and the first steps must be taken now.”
The UCLA athletics main Twitter account participated in the #BlackOutTuesday post that began trending early.
And UCLA’s Women’s Basketball team gave another statement on how we all must do better and do better immediately.
“Not nearly enough progress has been made. We stand with you, we mourn with you, we hurt with you, and we know that as a society we must be and do better, NOW!
We are committed to being part of the solution to end racial injustice in any form. As a team and staff, we stand united in our desire to seek an end to systemic racism and violence towards African-Americans. This includes a relentless quest for change, compassion, and knowledge over the long haul, even after it is not the lead story on the news and on social media.
Silence is not an option. Together, we will seek solutions, understanding, empathy and justice for all.”
The Bruins Women’s Soccer team posted a photo in their message.
While UCLA Softball head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez shared her sentiments in yet another powerful message.
“I have been fortunate to be surrounded by amazing and talented people from all different races and genders.
I lead a group of young women who will make an impact in this world far beyond the softball field. I teach them to believe in the concept that ‘it’s not what happens but what you do next that will be your defining moment.’ This time right now is a defining moment and a time for us to stand together and create change.
We acknowledge the pain of our Black community. Everyone has the right to live free of fear and to be treated with respect. Let’s take this opportunity to listen, empathize and educate.”
And then, of course, there was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s phenomnal message that he wrote for the LA Times.
If you haven’t read this yet, stop what you’re doing.
The main UCLA Athletics account shared their support as well, kicking off the string of messages by quoting the late, great, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“We stand in solidarity with the Black community and all who continue to act, educate and speak out against injustice. Be the change!”