University of Texas Longhorns football players and head coach Tom Herman marched alongside Austin Police Department personnel for about a mile to the Texas State Capitol on Thursday:
Herman has been vocal about racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 after since-fired officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the back of his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds:
One of Herman's strongest statements came in a conversation with Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman:
"There's a double standard maybe a little bit. We're going to pack 100,000 people into DKR and millions watch on TV that are predominantly white — not all of them certainly, but most of 'em white. We're gonna cheer when they score touchdowns, and we're gonna hug our buddy when they get sacks or an interception.
"But we gonna let them date our daughter? Are we going to hire them in a position of power in our company? That's the question I have for America. You can't have it both ways.
"And if you're going to cheer them and love them for three-and-a-half hours a Saturday in the fall, you better have the same feelings for them off the field, because they're human beings. They deserve the same amount of respect and human rights that all of us do in this country when we agreed on the social contract to be a member of the United States."
Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger posted a video supporting Black Lives Matter over the weekend while wide receiver Brennan Eagles addressed the issue Wednesday:
On Wednesday, the University of Missouri football team participated in a protest similar to the Longhorns':
Protests have been underway in all 50 states since Floyd's killing, condemning police brutality and racial injustice.
Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on May 29. The three other officers were first charged Wednesday with aiding and abetting while Chauvin's charge was upgraded to second-degree murder.