NCCU's LeVelle Moton Discusses 'Silent' White Head Coaches amid Protests

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2020

DAYTON, OHIO - MARCH 20: Head coach LeVelle Moton of the North Carolina Central Eagles reacts after being defeated by the North Dakota State Bison 78-74 in the First Four of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 20, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

North Carolina Central men's basketball coach LeVelle Moton expressed what he believes is a lack of solidarity shown by white coaches when it comes to situations like the death of George Floyd.

During an appearance on ESPN Radio's Sunday Morning, Moton said coaches can enjoy competitive and financial success thanks in part to black student-athletes but then remain "silent" when black people are the victims of systemic racism (via ESPN.com's Myron Medcalf):

"The reality is a lot of these coaches have been able to create generational wealth. Their grandkids' kids are gonna be able to live a prosperous life because athletes who were the complexion of George Floyd were able to run a football, throw a football, shoot a basketball or whatever have you so they have been able to benefit from athletes that look like George Floyd and many more. But whenever people [who are] the complexion of George Floyd are killed, assassinated, murdered in the street in broad daylight, they're silent."

While investigating a report of an alleged forgery May 25, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department removed Floyd from his car and placed him on the ground. One officer, Derek Chauvin, placed his knee on Floyd's neck, and Floyd could be heard saying he was unable to breathe. He died later at a local hospital.

Prosecutors charged Chauvin with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for his role in Floyd's death.

Across the country, protestors have taken to the streets to voice their anger over police brutality and systemic racism.

In a series of tweets Thursday, Moton recounted when he was pulled over and ordered out of his vehicle at gunpoint while driving with former North Carolina and NBA guard Raymond Felton in 2005:

At the end of the thread, Moton said he wanted to "challenge NCAA Coaches to publicly support George Floyd and his family during this tumultuous time and see that justice is brought to his name."

He reiterated his point in Sunday's interview, saying coaches' focus toward and support of their black players is often too limited to their performance.

"When it's time for humanity to speak up on behalf of the student athlete, it's silent, it's crickets," Moton said. "And my problem is if the murdering of black Americans is too risky of an issue for you to stand up as a leader, then who are they really playing for?"