MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The death of black man George Floyd at the hands of white Minneapolis Police officers has caused marches and demonstrations, not only in this country, but around the world.
University of Memphis basketball players have participated in rally’s here in the Bluff City, and now their head coach is weighing in.
Tigers Head Coach Penny Hardaway released a statement through the U of M Monday night saying while he has not spoken publicly about the deaths of Floyd and other black people killed at the hands of police, he too, is “outraged and filled with a range of emotions.”
Hardaway said he decided not to act on his raw feelings in the instant, but to process this important moment in time.
Hardaway quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saying “A riot is the language of the unheard.”
Hardaway also said," I, along with so many others, are feeling optimistic that our voices about inequality, injustice, and systemic racism, are finally being heard. I Coach and Mentor young people who are hurting, angry, and expressing themselves in the only way they know-how. They want justice, fairness, and to be treated as human beings. Some are looking to me for answers, and I do not take that lightly."
Hardaway goes on to say, “This is why I have been quick to listen and slow to speak. In the coming days and week, I will be seeking to meet with city officials, corporate CEO’s, and community leaders to discuss real solutions and to lend my voice to help, not only our City and State but the entire world.”
Hardaway closed with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt which said, “Change isn’t easy, and it is often painful, but worth it for the greater good of those who want it, and more importantly, those of us who need it.”