Conversations lead to education for Louisville coaches and players

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Conversations about racial injustice weren’t anything new for Louisville women’s basketball when head coach Jeff Walz and captains Dana Evans and Kianna Smith released a statement May 30 as protests were held throughout the country following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Walz says the conversations lead to education, so the more conversations that can happen on the topic, the more people around the community can become educated.

“It’s actually something that we have done here from the get-go,” Walz said. “It’s not just something that started up as our attention started to rise here across our country. It’s something that we take great pride in, talking with our players about.”

He said he is looking forward to seeing how the team and coaching staff continues to progress in its education of racial injustice.

Walz thinks it’s important for student-athletes to have a voice and share their message.

“It’s important to know how to voice your opinion, how to give yourself a platform where you can get people to listen to your message,” Walz said. “We are very fortunate, we have some wonderful young women who as this continues to go, I think are going to have the opportunity to really have a strong voice within our community.”

Players and staff are encouraged to share their thoughts and opinions during discussions. Before Walz and the captains released the statement May 30, the team held a Zoom call to address the issues and talk through what actions could take place next.

“Our players are going to be continue to be leaders within our community and continue to put a positive vibe out there,” Walz said.

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