Coach Billy Napier Shares Message On Human Rights
The last week in the United States has been filled with pain following the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed in Minneapolis after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for 9 consecutive minutes, despite repeated pleas from Floyd of "Please", "I can't breathe", and "Don't kill me".
Video of the incident surfaced on social media, leading to protests around the country.
It has sparked heavy discussion on social rights issues, and the treatment of African-American citizens.
Many figures from the sports world have released statements amid the unrest, including Louisiana Ragin' Cajun head football coach Billy Napier.
Often times, I talk about how much I love being a coach. To be able to impact people. To help make positive change in someone's life. It is what I value most as a coach.
I believe the game of football is all about people, followed by strategy and competition. We have learned over time that if you put strategy or competition before people, it results in failure.
Most of what I know in life, I've learned from others who grew up differently from me, and from people who walked in completely different shoes than mine. From former teammates, to players I've coached and coaches I've worked with. I have my life and career in football to thank for that, but it is a perspective that many would be fortunate to have.
What happened in Minneapolis, that tragedy, isn't the first of its kind. The reality is sad and frightening. The harsh truth is that prejudice and racism still very much exists among us, much like many other forms of wrongdoing and harm.
We will all remember where we were when we saw the video. And the following footage from the aftermath in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Brooklyn and across the country. It is horrific and inexcusable. We can't forget the feeling. Times like these must force us to reflect and look at our society at its very core.
The question is, simply, what will we do? What will I do? And what will you do? The challenge is there. It always has been. It's time to organize our thoughts, to develop plans and create opportunities for more education and awareness. It's time to listen. It's time to be at our best.
One person at a time. One relationship at a time. Be the difference!
- Billy Napier