MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The death of George Floyd has brought the issue of racial injustice to the forefront in recent weeks. Here’s what current and former members of the MSU football team hope will change in the future.
“It’s important that we can’t just let this die off. It comes to leadership, people need to hold themselves accountable to speak out against racism and social injustices,” said Ty Dennis, former MSU football wide receiver.
“In order to make change, we have to have some major things change. It’s not a bat of an eye,” said Todd Hoffner, MSU football head coach.
“As a white person, it’s possible for you to do is you can’t sympathize with the black man because you’re not black, but you can empathize and try to understand the sorrow, the hurt, and the violence that goes on and is occurring to black people within our system. I think the first thing is to understand that there is a problem and not turn a blind eye to it,” said JD Ekowa, MSU football senior quarterback.
“A lot of people have said they’re scared to speak out because they don’t want to say something that’s wrong or offensive. At the end of the day, those people that are trying to be allies, and trying to be advocates for all people of color. If they know they’re on the good side of the fight. They can’t be afraid to lash out against these problems we keep having,” said Dennis.
“It’s something that needs to change. I think that one way is for people to actually get involved. The protesting is good, but getting involved in society within the community. Trying to help the betterment of people is a huge step in something that needs to continue to happen and occur in order for us to see change,” said Ekowa.
“This is different than the way it’s been in the last 30 years. Our society hasn’t changed much in a long time. But I think for the first time that we have an opportunity in my role as a white man to listen, learn and follow our people of color who are willing to lead,” said Hoffner.
“People need to realize how important it is to get involved, voting, not only the president, but state officials, DA’s, judges. Starting funds and pushing the movement to better the lives of everybody especially black lives. It’s something as a black man that I go through every day,” said Ekowa.
“It’s really a long process and hopefully through the unfortunate loss of George Floyd, we can make progress in a systematic way. It’s not just law enforcement, there’s way more to this whole situation, listen, learn, grow and follow. That’s what my role is going to be moving forward,” said Hoffner.
“These uncomfortable conversations need to be had, I’m pretty optimistic that it’s going to continue to be this movement moving forward. It’s sad that it took what it took, and it’s 2020 and we’re still revisiting these things,” said Dennis.