With protests breaking out against social injustice and police brutality nationwide, which was sparked by the death of George Floyd while in the hands of Minneapolis police custody, many are speaking out against systematic, racial injustice.
Add two Oregon State head coaches to the list.
Beavers football head coach Jonathan Smith and Beavers basketball head coach Wayne Tinkle released statements over the weekend responding to the death of George Floyd and the activism against police brutality it has sparked, most notably the Black Lives Matter movement.
"As a white man, I will never completely understand the fear and daily experiences that people of color face regularly," wrote Coach Smith.
"The tragedies of the past few weeks have left me hurt, angry, confused; tough to completely describe. What I do know is, over my 20+ years in football, I have worked alongside and coached unbelievable men of color and my heart hurts for them. Change needs to happen. I want to add my voice to so many others that these acts... all acts of racism need to end."
"While trying to wait a few days to come down from the sadness, frustration and anger I felt over the recent atrocities to our black community, I am to realize that day won't come anytime soon," wrote Coach Tinkle.
"I won't pretend to understand what it's like to be a person of color in today's world, I will, however, try to help end the shameful injustices that have become all to commonplace throughout our society.
"I'm standing up to join the millions that are going to find a way to eliminate racism completely, by choosing love, prayer, compassion, respect and understanding over hatred and ignorance!"
George Floyd's death went viral last week after a video showed police officer Derek Chauvin using his knee to pin Floyd's neck to the pavement for eight minutes and 46 seconds, two minutes and 53 seconds of which happened after Floyd became unresponsive, per a criminal complaint against Chauvin.
The officer ignored Floyd's pleas for him to stop: "I can't breathe... Please, the knee in my neck, I can't breathe."
The lack of charges brought upon Chauvin nor the other three officers standing by the Minneapolis Police Department sparked nationwide outrage leading to national protests and riots against police brutality and public pressure to arrest the four officers.
Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd’s family said in a statement with their attorney, Ben Crump, that they “expected a first-degree murder charge.”
According to Nicquel Terry Ellis of USA Today, an independent autopsy determined that it "was homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain."
This report comes a few days after a complaint from the Hennepin County Attorney stated that "Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.”
While both Smith and Tinkle accept that of which they don't understand, both are advocates to put an end to racism and social injustice, something we can all agree on.