Nick Saban, Alabama Football Players March on Campus for Social Justice

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2020

Alabama head coach Nick Saban watches players warm up before the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Alabama head coach Nick Saban and members of the Crimson Tide football team staged a social justice march on campus and through Tuscaloosa on Monday. 

Running back Najee Harris announced last Friday he and other members of the program would begin the event at 4 p.m. ET outside the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility.

Tony Tsoukalas @Tony_Tsoukalas

Some powerful images from Alabama's march against racial injustice https://t.co/Gsvg5QY0Cm

Patrick Greenfield @PCGreenfield

Nick Saban leads the Alabama football team down Hackberry Ln. during today’s march in Tuscaloosa https://t.co/zJMP4WWxiJ

Patrick Greenfield @PCGreenfield

Huge crowd marched with the team to Foster Auditorium. https://t.co/UbPqeHcBpl

"Today, I'm like a proud parent," Saban said at the march, per AL.com's Mike Rodak. "I'm proud of our team. I'm proud of our messengers and I'm proud of our message."

Matt Scalici @MattScalici

It is not an overstatement to say that Nick Saban is the most influential person in the state of Alabama. To see him leading the way as over 100 young students, most of them Black, march in support of social justice is a powerful and important moment.

Harris also took to the podium:

Charlie Potter @Charlie_Potter

Najee Harris: “We must do more as a team to keep this movement going.”

Mike Rodak @mikerodak

Alabama RB Najee Harris at Foster Auditorium schoolhouse door, where George Wallace resisted federal desegregation efforts in 1963: “While much has changed in the past 57 years, many things have not." https://t.co/9qzsbkHBzb

"Every time I walk out of the doors of my home and get the chance to come home, I have to thank God," linebacker Jarez Parks said, per Rodak. "We don't want revenge, we want fairness and equality."

The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor sparked nationwide protests in May as Americans called for meaningful changes to address police brutality and systemic racism.

The shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23 led many to renew calls for social justice. Officials from the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation said police were called to an alleged domestic disturbance and attempted to arrest Blake. As Blake opened the driver's side door of his vehicle, an officer shot him seven times in the back at close range. A lawyer for the Blake family said Blake was attempting to break up a fight between two women when police arrived.

Multiple leagues postponed games last week after athletes refused to play in protest in the wake of the shooting.