Alabama's Nick Saban Speaks on Protests: 'We Must Come Together as a Society'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2020

Alabama football coach Nick Saban watches as Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa announces his intentions to declare for the 2020 NFL football draft, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

Alabama Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban released a statement Sunday following the death of unarmed civilian George Floyd after video showed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes. 

His statement comes after nationwide protests and confrontations between police and protestors. Saban urged in his statement that people "must come together as a society and treat one another with respect and dignity":

Saban wasn't alone in releasing a public statement on the matter. Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh discussed Floyd's death during a Thursday appearance on The Rich Eisen Show.

"Well, today I'm very upset about the George Floyd death," he said (h/t Aaron McMann of MLive.com). "That's kind of got me preoccupied today. I'm just very [upset]. Horrendous. I'm just watching right now and I'm looking forward to there being an investigation and charges. That's completely outrageous."

Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

Other coaches and athletic directors around college football have released statements as well:

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Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence also made public remarks on Twitter:

"There has to be a shift in the way of thinking. Rational must outweigh irrational. Justice must outweigh injustice. Love must outweigh hate. If you put yourself in someone else's shoes and you don't like how it feels—that's when you know things need to change.

"I'm siding with my brothers that deal, and continuously deal, with things I will never experience. The injustice is clear... and so is the hate. It can no longer be explained away. If you're still 'explaining' it—check your heart and ask why."