Skip to main content

Herm Edwards: Be a Change Agent, Have Solutions

Herm Edwards on what is going on in today's world.

Athletes across several sports put down their jerseys and made a stand on Wednesday. It started with the Milwaukee Bucks, and then the Orlando Magic going on strike instead of playing their NBA Playoffs game.

The Bucks compiled a statement as a team.

Then, the next two scheduled NBA games were abandoned, and teams from the WNBA, MLB and MLS followed suit.

Players took to social media to display their frustration with the lack of progress with equal justice in America. The video of a black man, Jacob Blake, being shot seven times in the back by a policeman in Kenosha, WI, and the killing of two protesters soon after was the latest incident that athletes and coaches spoke passionately about.

Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards is no stranger to these types of discussions.

He grew up in the 1960s amid major moments of protest and social unrest. He went on the Brad Cesmat Show on Sports360AZ on Thursday to talk about it.

He mentioned that he's having the same conversations with his teenage daughters as his father had with him when he was 15. He does not want his grandchildren to have that conversation too.

"This movie has to stop," Edwards said. "This is America; we are better than this."

Edwards recognized that change is a long process. He made the analogy that change is more like pushing a large rock than flicking a light switch.

Scroll to Continue


What has made him optimistic is the response by the younger generations, among athletes and people from all walks of life.

"You see this crux of young people that have a chance to change the dynamics of this for their children," Edwards said. "What do you do to push the rock?

"They have been marvelous."

Edwards has previously praised his players for speaking out on social media during the #WeWantToPlay movement, as well as during the initial protests following the killing of George Floyd.

But he feels that players shouldn't just post. There needs to be meaning and a plan for those posts and talking out. What is the goal? If there isn't one, his philosophy is to keep quiet until there is.

"We tell [our players] 'if you see racism occur at any level, you down stand silent,'" Edwards said. "You have a platform. Make sure when you use your platform, you have solutions. We want to be changers, problem solvers.

"Don't speak until you know what to say that will help people."

The athletes have worked to become problem solvers and have provoked action since their strike.

The Bucks' owners called the Wisconsin statehouse and discussed a police reform bill, according to The Athletic. Coaches and executives from Cleveland's sports franchises set up an alliance to tackle social injustice in their city.

Edwards said on ESPN Radio this morning that he applauds the players' use of their platforms. It appears that the rock is moving.