Coach K on Racial Injustice: I Am Emotional, Disgusted and Scared
Coach Mike Krzyzewski issued an emotional statement following a weekend of nationwide protesting over George Floyd’s death at the hands of police.
“I have been trying to find eloquent words to explain my thoughts regarding the recent injustice in our country, but I cannot be eloquent about this,” he wrote. “I am too emotional. I am frustrated! I am disgusted and frankly, I am scared.”
“No matter how much I love my current and former players and their families,” he continued, “I cannot feel the depth of what they are feeling right now. I have never experienced what it is like to be a black man in America. So I find myself asking questions: What is happening to us? When will we realize we are on the same team and that everyone on that team is important? When will we have each other’s back? When will we insist on justice and equality for everyone? What can I do?”
Floyd was killed in Minneapolis last week after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for several minutes, preventing him from breathing. Chauvin has since been fired and was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday.
Krzyzewski responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in a similar way, asking health care providers and other workers on the front lines of fighting the disease, “What can I do?” Since then, he and Duke basketball have been active on several fronts raising funds to support the response to the pandemic.
“I want to help find the answers to these questions,” Krzyzewski said, “but before we can get answers, we have to understand at a new level. And to understand, we must listen. Listen and not judge. We need to stand up for what is right, and we must no longer tolerate racism and social injustice in our country.”