HOUSTON – George Floyd played football at Yates High School in Houston and was part of their 1992 State Championship run. Years later, his death at the hands of now-ex Minneapolis police officers has created ongoing discussions that athletes are participating in.
Texans players Deshaun Watson and Jacob Martin attended the downtown march on Tuesday, and several others have posted on social media.
Here are some of the professional athletes in Houston speaking out.
On Monday, the Astros shortstop posted this picture on Instagram, which several of his teammates liked and commented on in support.
Biles took to Instagram and Twitter, re-tweeting ways to help black-owned businesses. She also posted a picture for “Black Out Tuesday,” a day meant to promote black-owned businesses. Biles also tweeted “We have to do better, America.”
The Texans Outside Linebacker also posted for “Black Out Tuesday,” and re-tweeted a video of Houston Deputy Deon Smith calmly talking with protesters.
Bregman has been extremely vocal since the news of George Floyd’s murder. He tweeted a screenshot from what appears to be his mother’s Instagram, reading “We are not free until we are all free.” Bregman also retweeted Martin Luther King III, and posted for Black Out Tuesday.
Bregman tweeted the KKK should be classified as a terrorist organization, to which someone responded he would lose “75% of his fanbase” if he doesn’t stick to sports. Bregman replied, “if hating the KKK loses me fans, then I hope I lose them.”
Martin participated in Tuesday’s March for George Floyd in downtown Houston, handing out waters to those marching. Martin uploaded posted a black square for BlackOut Tuesday, with the caption being the words of “Negro,” a poem by Langston Hughes.
View this post on Instagram
I am a Negro: Black as the night is black, Black like the depths of my Africa. I’ve been a slave: Caesar told me to keep his door-steps clean. I brushed the boots of Washington. I’ve been a worker: Under my hand the pyramids arose. I made mortar for the Woolworth Building. I’ve been a singer: All the way from Africa to Georgia I carried my sorrow songs. I made ragtime. I’ve been a victim: The Belgians cut off my hands in the Congo. They lynch me still in Mississippi. I am a Negro: Black as the night is black, Black like the depths of my Africa. -Langston Hughes
The Houston Dash forward gave a statement that her team put out in a series of tweets, calling on others to take action.
“I’m deciding to speak up, and so should you. Regardless of your skin tone, you have a voice."
The Dynamo Midfielder tweeted out a picture in support of “Black Out Tuesday.”
The Dynamo as a team tweeted a picture saying, in part, “we stand arm and arm with our neighbors.”
Though Watt addressed his disgust and anger in a Zoom meeting, he elaborated later in an Instagram post.
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Silence is unacceptable. I spoke on the murder of George Floyd last week, but realize that my comments may not have made their way to Instagram/Facebook and I do not want the absence of those words to imply my silence on the subject. I personally believe that a social media post can only accomplish so much. Listening, learning, understanding and asking how we can help, accomplishes much more. When I first saw the video of George Floyd’s murder, I was disgusted and upset. In no simple terms, George Floyd should be alive right now. There were many ways in which the situation could have been remedied, all of which would have prevented his death. I have never had to feel that fear for my life. I have never had to experience a situation where I felt threatened simply because of the color of my skin. I can’t sit here and pretend to know what that feels like. But I can understand and acknowledge that it’s wrong and that nobody should ever feel discriminated against because of the color of their skin. Racism is a problem and silence won’t solve it. I certainly don’t have the answers, nor do I pretend to. But I do intend to listen, learn, understand and ask how I can help.
Gordon posted a Black Lives Matter photo on Instagram for “Black Out Tuesday.”
The Texans wide receiver has peacefully protested in the form of kneeling during the National Anthem, something he did while in Miami as well. He posted this photo and has been extremely active on twitter, retweeting moments of protests and injustices.
Stills also partnered with the Houston Police Department to improve community relations and trust.