Awareness Is Not Enough Following George Floyd's Death

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The death of George Floyd has left the country reeling, and athletes are among those protesting and speaking out to demand justice after Floyd was killed by a police officer. Corey Parson and Chaunte'l Powell joined Sports Illustrated host Robin Lundberg to discuss what can be done to address the issues that led to Floyd's tragic death and why awareness alone is not enough, as the circumstances, unfortunately, are all too familiar. 

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Robin Lundberg: The country is reeling in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. That goes for the sports world and beyond. For more, I'm joined by our Corey Parson and Chaunte'l Powell. You know, first of all, guys, I want to just ask a question that I don't think gets asked enough. How are you doing? How are you feeling right now in this moment? Corey, let's start with you. 

Corey Parson:  You know, it's funny that you asked that, Robin, because I got a lot of text messages over the weekend from a lot of my white friends and colleagues asking me that same question. And my reply has kind of been the same. Listen, it's sad at times like this and you definitely feel it, and I appreciate the sympathy. But the problem is this has been happening for too long now. I've been around dealing with this, especially living here in New York City for years now. So almost it's like, "Yeah, I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be fine?" This is but continues to go on. So I appreciate it. And I see the urgency this time. But for the most part of it, I remain fine through this because I almost feel like I'll see it again. 

Robin Lundberg:  Chaunte'l, to Corey's point. I mean, I've used this example. We've seen NBA players, you know, wear hoodies to honor Trayvon Martin. I CAN'T BREATHE shirts to honor Eric Garner. Now they're dealing with the loss of George Floyd. You know, Corey says he he's used to this, but that that frustration, it must be palpable to see the same things happen over and over, tragedy after tragedy with no change.

Chaunte'l Powell: And, you know, sadly for me, I'm kind of numb to it in a way. I was a senior in college when Trayvon Martin was killed. And that's when the conversations for me started. And that's when, you know, the hoodies and things like that and the protests started. So I've been seeing the same conversation for eight years, it's kind of—it seems a little bit more well-received right now. But until there's actual progress and justice in the process. It just kind of feels like a revamp of the same thing. 

Robin Lundberg: So when we talk about, you know, the progress in the justice, we've seen various methods, you know, Doc Rivers has called for people to vote. Michael Jordan says a unified voice to get lost to change. Jaylen Brown and others are out there in the streets. What do you think we can do or what do you think is the best way to try and approach this problem, Chaunte'l? 

Chaunte'l Powell: I mean, it's kind of those in power, you know, deciding that they care and they want reform. It's easy to tell people to get out and vote, but when you don't address voter suppression and things of that nature, then it's kind of working against itself. And, you know, just with the protesting, you're raising awareness, you're doing that type of thing. But until we can get convictions, lengthy sentences and not just slaps on the wrist and then actual, you know, laws and stuff to prevent this from happening again, you're going to keep seeing it repeat, because I think the main thing is there are no consequences in place. If you can do all of the the diversity training and things you want. But if people know that they can get away with this, it's going to keep happening.