Conversations have led to actions, and those actions plan to continue.
Louisville football defensive coordinator Bryan Brown has talked with players before when racial injustice, police brutality and inequality, but this time it’s different. He spends the first 10 to 15 minutes of positional meetings discussing with players the events issues that have been in the city of Louisville’s forefront in recent weeks.
“This is the first time that we have had to have a true deep, deep, deep conversation about it,” Brown said. “There have been other times when I have been at other schools to where an incident may happen, and you talked about it for a day or so.”
Louisville’s coaching staff has listened to players to learn their stance on racial injustice. The players and coaches don’t plan to allow the issues fade away anytime soon.
“Coach [Scott] Satterfield said, ‘we can’t let this die, the racial tension is going on, we don’t need to let it die down,’” Brown said. “We will continue to do stuff all summer and not let it be a two-week thing and let it die down. We are excited about that. Whatever they want to do, in a peaceful and professional manner, we will be there with them.”
Defensive back Anthony Johnson led Louisville in a peaceful protest last Sunday. The redshirt junior wanted to do something to address the issue of racial injustice and police brutality following a team meeting.
Johnson set up a group message with players, coaches and team chaplain Chris Morgan. More than a dozen players met on the Walking Bridge in downtown Louisville May 31 in protest.
Coaches didn’t have to motivate players into action, something that Satterfield and the coaching staff emphasizes.
“We want to be a player led team, that’s what we have been saying since we got here,” Brown said. “When our players take charge and it’s not always from the coaches, then you got something.”
Brown is proud of the way players have stepped up.
“They are going to be the next group that leads our country,” Brown said. “It has been awesome to hear their stories, it touches your heart.”