TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama football coach Nick Saban spoke to the media after the team’s first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday afternoon, taking the opportunity to discuss Monday’s march organized by the players in support of the fight against racial injustice.
In his opening statement, Saban put his support behind the march.
“The players have made these choices and decisions about what they want to do, how they want to be heard,” Saban said. “We want to support them because we do support what they want to do. I think they did a really good job in what they did before.”
In the last part of his statement, Saban referenced the video that was put out by Alabama football on social media earlier this year after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Over the summer, Saban and his Crimson Tide staff have organized a series of Zoom meetings with prominent figures of the Black community, having the speakers talk on leadership and other subjects to the players.
Saban also referenced those Zoom meetings in his opening statement to the media.
“I think we implemented sort of a speaker series for some very prominent people: Condoleezza Rice, Tony Dungy, Stephen A. Smith, Joey Galloway, Charles Barkley,” Saban said. “They all did a phenomenal job of trying to explain to players, how can we have a plan for change? How can we make things better in the future? And I think that’s what our players have really been focused on, and I think that’ll be what they want to try to get out there, a message on Monday.
“We’re very much in support of that.”
Alabama senior running back Najee Harris announced details on his social media on Friday evening detailing a march organized by himself and other players. The march will begin on Monday at 4 p.m. CT in front of the Mal Moore Athletics Facility and will proceed to the steps of Foster Auditorium.
Harris also followed up the details with a quick message.
“We want all Alabama athletes to join us,” Harris said in a tweet. “This isn’t a fan day … this isn’t a football game …. this is about lasting change!”
In the days since the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wis., Crimson Tide athletes from various sports have been very active on social media in letting their voices be heard by speaking out against racial injustice.
“I am fed up,” Alabama senior Chris Owens said on social media. “People who look like me are fed up. As a country we should all be tired of history constantly repeating itself. We are sick and tired of the same thing over and over and over again with no one being held accountable for their actions.”
Saban did not make it known if he or any other coaches will also be participating in Monday’s march.