In just two short months, society in America has drastically changed. It’s difficult to run a basketball website during a global pandemic, more difficult still as a nation begins to burn. The people that we are here to cover, though, have been taking to social media to express their support for the ideas driving the protests across the country.
As befitting his role as the leader of the program, Travis Steele was one of the first to take to Twitter with a well thought out note.
Assistant coach and former Xavier player and Dante Jackson echoed those sentiments.
Coach I appreciate you using your platform!! In order to see the change most of us all realize needs to occur we must start listening to understand, and not just listening to respond! https://t.co/52mci1EqNo— Dante Jackson (@DanteJacksonXU) May 31, 2020
Another assistant coach Jonas Hayes, was equally adamant in his support.
Coming to the realization, that ending systemic racism is a mountain far too big to entirely climb. But what is attainable is to gain the respect. Enough respect to be given the benefit of the doubt, not be killed just because of what you thought I would do because of my race.— Jonas Hayes (@CoachJonas) May 30, 2020
Stopped being lead to BELIEVE something is gonna happen just for a politician to get your vote. HOLD THEIR FEET TO THE FIRE! And if our demands aren’t being met as a community, we have that right to send their a$$ packing and get some one that is genuine with their words.— Jonas Hayes (@CoachJonas) May 30, 2020
Former player Malcolm Bernard shared a multiple tweet long video of his own experiences.
CJ Anderson, while also discussing Xavier’s all time defensive team, shared part of a phone call he had with his very frightened mother. (CJ had some other thoughts as well that are worth looking up but don’t entirely fit a family friendly site.)
Imagine your Mom calling you to say “ITS CRAZY OUT THERE SON PLEASE DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO SO THE POLICE DONT SHOOT YOU AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THIS TALK WITH MY GRAND SON BECAUSE THERE IS NO AGE LIMIT”!!!!!!!— CJ Anderson (@Coach_Weez) May 31, 2020
Current player Paul Scruggs and former point guard Dee Davis took part in peaceful protests.
Kerem Kanter also chimed in.
This could go on and on forever. Coaches like Chris Mack and Shaka Smart have released statements, former president Barack Obama recorded a message, social media is awash with video, notes, and messages from players and coaches across basketball. Xavier has been, as they are in basketball, at the front of the social protest as well.
This is a difficult thing to navigate for those of us here at Banners. Our editorial position is that if you aren’t upset with what is happening, you aren’t paying close enough attention. We echo Coach Steele’s sentiment that we are long overdue for a change to the racism in place in this country.
With that comes also a recognition that while we can ally and speak up for our friends, we are unable to put ourselves completely in their shoes. There comes some privilege with simply looking the way we do that insulates us from the concerns that are now being raised in both peaceful and violent ways across our nation. Not a single one of us has ever been targeted for being a minority, stopped for how we look, or regarded as suspicious simply walking through a neighborhood we aren’t from. While we can sympathize, we cannot ever fully empathize. Our thoughts and prayers go to our friends, the players we love to watch, their families, and everyone impacted.
Martin Luther King Jr. said that a riot was the voice of the unheard. Whatever your stance on rioting, take this moment to listen. Talk to a friend who is a minority, listen to a speech (Killer Mike’s is a great starting point), read a book relating to race relations. Most importantly, listen. Be aware. College basketball will return some day. When it does, let’s do what we can to help it return to a better place.