The day after Jonathan Irons walk out of prison for good, activist and basketball legend Maya Moore spoke with members of the media Thursday morning on how she feels and the work that still needs to be done.
The future Hall of Famer said the feelings she’s had in the last 12 or so hours are comparable to those she felt the day after winning one of her many championships. Overall she said there was a lot of relief and even more fatigue.
Moore had put her incredibly decorated playing career on hold to dedicate time to the cause and saw it pay off in the form of a wrongfully convicted man being reunited with his family and regaining his freedom.
She noted that she will take a slight break to rest and recover after an overall draining process before getting back to work in her fight for prosecutorial reform, a lane she said she will stay in moving forward.
Moore also gave tips for those who want to join the fight for social justice and reform but may not know where to start.
As an athlete, she said the Athletes for Impact organization helped educate her on how to start.
For non-athletes looking to get involved, they can visit Moore’s Win With Justice website. On it are tips on how one can help with various causes, petitions, scripts to fill out and send to elected officials and more.
The University of South Carolina has seen its athletes answer this call over the last few months as players have been vocal on social media and out in the streets attending protests.
Laeticia Amihere, forward on USC’s women’s basketball team and a Student Athlete Advisory Committee officer said that she’s also had to have tough conversations with her friend group.
“I was talking to some of my friends that it’s not when somebody dies that we have to come together and start protesting,” she said. “It starts with the microaggressions that happen and the subtle racism that happens in every day life … that has a much an impact as police brutality because it piles up and once it piles up, we get protests and things start to get ugly.”
The Gamecock football team lead a march to the State House and in an interview afterwards, head coach Will Muschamp said the time for action is now.
“[We want to] continue to build relationships that bring down the barriers that we have in our country,” he said. “But I think the two words as a team that we took from this was educating and communicating. The more you know about somebody the more you feel comfortable with them and that's what we've got to continue to do. The two unacceptable words at this time as a team that we talked about was silence and violence. Actions are louder than words. I can put out a paragraph on social media that does nothing compared to what we did Friday as a football team, but the actions are what we need. We can't be silent about racial inequality at this time. Violence, Dr. King once said ‘hate begets hate, violence begets violence,’ and that's still true. “