Wisconsin Coaches Paul Chryst, Greg Gard Release Statements After Death of George Floyd
Days after Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez released a statement on the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, football head coach Paul Chryst and men's basketball coach Greg Gard followed suit via social media on Monday.
Four officers from the Minneapolis police department were fired on May 26. On Friday, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced that former officer Derek Chauvin was arrested on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of Floyd. Days later, a second-degree murder charge was filed.
A video surfaced after, and the complaint's "Statement of Probably Cause" from May 29 says that Chauvin "placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck" for eight minutes, 46 seconds.
Here are Chryst and Gard's statements in full:
"I'm frustrated and disappointed that we as a society are not better than this. What happened to George Floyd is unspeakable but yet is all too common. Every person is important but for too long many in the black community have not been treated as such. If we are really going to affect change, then it's going to take everyone. We need to be better, individually and collectively. Our priority as a football program is to ensure everyone feels safe and valued and my commitment to our players remains helping them grow in their journey as students, athletes and men."
"We must be better. All of us.
"I am saddened and sit in disbelief that in the year 2020, our society and our nation is not better. The racial inequalities and injustices that exist in our communities across our country belong to all of us.
"We talk about leadership a lot in sports. Leadership is about accountability, commitment and ownership. Yes, we all have to take ownership but we must be equally committed to make this world a better place. Change is paramount to an improving future. One of the bedrocks to a change for the better is through education and awareness. We all have the responsibility to do better so our country is in a better place for those who will come after us.
"I can't, and won't pretend to know what it's like to be a black person in America. Speaking up and listening is important, but what matters most is finding proof in our future actions. Actions that are positive, purposeful, helpful and continue long after these current events fade. We will continue to work directly with our Inclusion & Engagement department and campus to make sure that commitment is consistent and far reaching.
"As humans, we all need to be dedicated to impacting change in our own communities. We need to be dedicated to fixing our morale compasses and living and leading with empathy, respect, love and understanding for all cultures."
Editor's note: Updated on July 5