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ASU coaches, players speak on racial injustices in the US

Multiple ASU coaches and athletes called people to action against racial injustice in America


ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne earns her 500 win's after a Sun Devil's 76-75 win after three overtimes against the USC Trojans at Wells Fargo Arena, on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Tempe.

ASU student-athletes, coaches and the athletic department released comments and statements regarding racial injustice in the U.S. this past week. 

The comments by the parties were made following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25.

Men's basketball head coach Bobby Hurley tweeted Saturday that Floyd's death "is one of too many." He later added that, "It's heartbreaking. It's unacceptable. It must end."

Sophomore football tight end Nolan Matthews released a letter on Twitter Wednesday describing how Black people have had to "conform" their lives to live in the country, saying, "It is not just racism and prejudice that is the problem in our country, it is the subtle and blatant disrespect and oppression of an entire race." 

He then called upon the country for help, saying, "If we want change, it is going to take EVERYONE (sic) working together."

Senior softball infielder Kiara Kennedy tweeted out comments Monday asking people, “Move. Another. Way. And EDUCATE EDUCATE EDUCATE YOURSELVES (sic).” She ended her comments saying, “R.I.P. George Floyd and many others.”

Women's basketball head coach Charli Turner Thorne tweeted a message of her own Monday morning, asking others to join with her in, "voting, donating time and/or money to strengthen & support community (and) encourage conversations around diversity & inclusion."

Baseball head coach Tracy Smith posted his statement on Twitter Monday morning. After saying that he couldn't "find accurate words to describe what I am feeling," he ended his statement with, "What repeatedly comes to my mind is .... "We need to shut up and LISTEN to those who are in pain!""

Football head coach Herm Edwards tweeted out a self-narrated video with the caption "When America huddles up, we are a powerful team" Tuesday morning. On an appearance on ESPN's Golic and Wingo the same day, he spoke on the concept of the huddle, illustrating how people that "come from all different walks of life" need to "huddle up as a country and talk about these issues so we can progress."

Sun Devil Athletics released a statement from its department Tuesday afternoon.

"It is our responsibility to our student-athletes and entire Sun Devil community to be advocates for change against racism, prejudice and bigotry," the statement said. "We are committed to leading positive change and will continue to inform, educate and bring awareness to social injustices and be proactive in solution-oriented responses."

The Pac-12 Conference released a joint statement with all 12 athletic directors in the conference Monday.

"The injustice before us is not just a problem facing African-Americans, nor a problem just facing minorities," the statement said. "It is an American injustice, one that we all must own and all must address head on if we wish to create a more humane, more caring and more empathetic society — one free of racism for all us here today and for our children and their children."

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