A girl stands in front of Dayton police officers in riot gear during protests Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Dayton. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF

George Floyd protests: What local athletes, coaches are saying on social media

Shauna Green: ‘There are no more words. I am sick. We need change’

A number of local athletes and coaches have reacted to the death of George Floyd and the demonstrations that have followed across the nation with posts on Twitter.

“You don’t have to be black to feel outraged,” former Dayton Flyers guard Scoochie Smith wrote.

“The black community needs our help,” wrote Joe Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner who the Cincinnati Bengals drafted in April. “They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.”

Wright State women’s basketball coach Katrina Merriweather wrote, “I haven’t had the words to describe these emotions and I still don’t. Dear Lord. Please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Dayton women’s basketball coach Shauna Green shared a quote that read, “Justice will not be served until those unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

Green added, “There are no more words. I am sick. We need change.”

Jordan Wilmoth, a senior on the UD women’s basketball team last season, wrote, “Speak Up Unite Spread Love. But, let us not forget to VOTE. One of the biggest stands we can take is by voting. Come November WE MUST register and vote. Let’s put the right people in office to fight for our FREEDOM, JUSTICE & EQUALITY.”

Below is a rundown of more messages:

Devin Oliver

The former Dayton Flyers forward, who now plays professionally in France, shared his thoughts Sunday in a series of Tweets.

“I’ve been feeling the need to speak out, voice my opinion, make sure people understand where I’m at with all of this. But I can’t. ... I have no words. I’m sad. For my people, for my country, for everyone. How can humans treat other humans this way?

“I’m completely overwhelmed with the racial injustices still adamantly present in our country and deeply saddened by how humans are treating one another. What kind of world is this?

“I guess growing up with a father as a police officer, doing the job the right way, protecting and serving his community, I’ve been shielded from what is a major problem SWEEPING the USA!

“Never ONCE, not one time, have I had someone come up to me and complain about my father’s policing. NEVER!

“I’ve actually had people that he’s arrested approach me and tell me, ‘Your father is a good police officer and a hell of a man. He was right to arrest me, I was living wrong.’ WOW! I mean, for someone to go out of their way to tell me that? Wow, how can your pops not be your hero?

“But now, as I scroll through Twitter, that ugly side is being exposed. It’s hard for me to feel any sympathy right now, I know that. #NoJusticeNoPeace. I’ll end with this. Let’s make one thing clear ... if you’re silent, you are apart of the problem. This isn’t about political views, or whatever the hell you have going on. THIS IS HUMAN RIGHTS. If you are a good person, SPEAK ON IT! Period.”

Seth Towns

The Harvard graduate, who transferred to the Ohio State basketball program this spring, participated in the protests in Columbus over the weekend and was briefly detained by police. He told his story Saturday on Twitter:

“In a span of just 24 hours, I walked across a Harvard virtual graduation stage into the back of police van alongside other peaceful protestors—both of which I am equally proud of.

“I, with so many others, met in downtown Columbus, Ohio to peacefully protest the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the countless other unarmed American citizens who have been murdered by those who profess to keep the peace.

“To express our sympathies and condolences to their families, loved ones and all justice seeking people devastated by their senseless deaths, we gathered to cry out their names. We sought to give voice to those whose voices were hushed; to name those whose breath was taken.

“True voice is not found in words spoken, however, but in steps taken. These hurtful times call for us to come together and bend the arc of justice—to be true and fearless in our expression of compassion, we must find ways to be the change we need.

“To those who are silent, speak up—to those who are hurting, unite; and for those who are fighting with the weapons of love and justice, keep going. I’m right there with you!”

Below is a selection of Tweets from more area coaches and administrators:

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