Usually on the Sports Link site, we discuss recent sporting events or those happening in the world around us.
For my first article on this website, I thought I’d be doing the same. However, our nation faces issues much more important than sports right now.
People have been shocked and devastated by the actions of police officers which led to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and countless other people of color across the country.
Last Thursday, June 4, Ball State University and the Muncie community began to heal thanks to a peaceful protest led by basketball standout Ishmael El-Amin.
The event delivered a precious moment of unity that has never been more important. The crowd was estimated to be nearly 3,000.
I attended the protest not really sure what to expect. I felt I had to go because it was the right thing to do. Like other people, I had become so blind and ignorant to the gigantic problem that is racism in America.
I have been scrolling through social media, trying to learn, trying to gain knowledge and trying to process this ongoing problem. I had seen how powerful this young generation has become stretching over all platforms and how they have quickly come together in times of hurting.
I have been inspired by statements from former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho, Dwayne Johnson and Colts General Manager Chris Ballard. I was also moved by the “I AM” video released by NFL players. It became clear that I, along with so many others, need to change my ways for the better.
While there were countless reasons to attend the peaceful protest on Thursday including racial injustice, police brutality and the death of George Floyd, I had a more personal reason to attend.
I went because of George Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna. When I found out Floyd had a daughter at such a young age, I was devastated. It made me think of my father, who passed away in mid-April of this year. I teared up because I realized she will not have her father there for all the special milestones my father thankfully got the chance to witness for 20 years of my life.
To have a father taken away like that in such a cruel, disgusting manner for something completely unnecessary is gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and still tough to wrap my head around. George Floyd should still be here playing with his daughter and enjoying life with his family.
I have never been one to be outgoing when it comes to talking with strangers, but I had this gut feeling as I walked along Thursday this would be a safe place, because it did not feel like a group of strangers.
I was worried the protest may escalate into violence as many others across the country have, but it could not have been done any better. It was a tremendous job by all involved keeping the protest peaceful, along with having the necessary supplies of waters, snacks, masks and more, available for everyone who attended.
For the first part of the walk to the Muncie’s City Hall, I decided I wanted to take in the sights and sounds that surrounded me. The constant chants of “Black Lives Matter … I Can’t Breathe … Say Their Names” were overwhelmingly powerful.
Once we reached City Hall, I decided I wanted to join with the crowd and even police officers as we shouted, kneeled and prayed for justice.
It felt like one massive, cohesive unit created by a group of college students trying to achieve the ultimate goal of justice and peace for a community struggling.
A community that needs our help spreading a message to end this undeserved and overdue hate put upon them.
For a list of resources to deepen your understanding of racism and to listen to black voices, visit this page from Ball State’s College of Communication, Information and Media.