Following several days of protests and riots across the United States in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban released a statement on Sunday afternoon urging love and unification.
The statement was released on the Alabama football Twitter page:
"I am shocked and angered by the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery," Saban's statement reads. "We're at an important moment for our country, and now is the time for us to choose kinds, tolerance, understanding, empathy, and most importantly ... its time to love each other. Every life is precious, and we must understand we have so many more things that unite us than divide us."
Saban proceeds to encourage peaceful protesting in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.
"I've always been inspired and encouraged by examples set by those who came before us like Dr. Martine Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and so many others who devoted their lives to finding peaceful ways to rid our society of social inequities. As Dr. Kind said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." We are all part of this and we must banish these types of injustices in not just our country, but our world. The ultimate future of our nation is in our hands, and like the teams I've been privileged to coach, we must depend on and respect each other no matter our differences. We must come together as a society and treat one another with respect and dignity."
About an hour before Saban's statement was released, Alabama director of athletics Greg Byrne also shared a statement of his own via Twitter:
Both Saban and Byrne echo the same sentiments; those sentiments being that of peaceful protests and opening the floor to conversation and action.
Along with Saban and Byrne, the University of Alabama has been active at releasing statements concerning this week's protests, including the SGA, the Crimson White, and Alabama president Dr. Stuart R. Bell.