Some of the most notable members of the Auburn athletics department, including head football coach Gus Malzahn, head men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl and athletic director Allen Greene, joined in a Black Lives Matter protest on Sunday.
Giana Han of AL.com shared images and video of the proceedings, including when Pearl took a knee outside the Auburn Police Department:
Auburn Gold Mine passed along video of Malzahn leading the Tigers football team to the rally:
On May 29, Pearl tweeted, "Let's call it out when it's wrong and unacceptable and hold folks accountable. Then through love and understanding, prayer and practice let's try and improve our world! We can and we must do better!"
Greene, who is the first black athletic director in Auburn history, released a video in which he addressed racism in the country and said, "Issues of racial injustice and systemic inequities are complex, and often leave us angered, confused, conflicted and uncertain as to how to produce meaningful dialogue."
Malzahn reacted to Greene's comments, saying, "We need to use our influence for positive change in our country which is much needed right now."
Coach Gus Malzahn @CoachGusMalzahn
Great words from our leader Allen Greene! I agree 100 percent. We need to use our influence for positive change in our country which is much needed right now. Our student-athletes deserve it. Their children, grandchildren and future generations deserve it! https://t.co/bVFcvYjHHu
The protest at Auburn, as well as many more across the country and even the world, came in the wake of the killing of George Floyd on May 25. Video captured by a bystander showed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd said he couldn't breathe and pleaded for his life.
The protests have aimed to address police brutality and racial injustice in the country.
Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while the other three officers involved in the arrest—J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao—were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Josh Vitale of the Montgomery Advertiser noted there was also a protest at Auburn's Toomer's Corner last Sunday that featured a number of Tigers athletes and coaches.
Vitale also pointed out many Auburn athletes, including linebacker Chandler Wooten, linebacker O.C. Brothers, defensive back Traivon Leonard, quarterback Bo Nix, offensive lineman Keiondre Jones, softball player Alyssa Rivera and gymnast Sam Cerio, have been vocal about the need for change on Twitter.