Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski delivered a strong message of support for the Black Lives Matter movement on Friday, and called on Americans everywhere to finally stand up and fix systemic racism in the country.
Krzyzewski, in a lengthy video posted to the team’s official Twitter account on Friday, addressed fans directly, calling them out for ignoring racism for four centuries.
He started the video insisting that the Black Lives Matter movement — something countless prominent figures in the sports world have supported and helped push forward in recent weeks — isn’t a political stance, something some try to make it into.
"Black Lives Matter. Say it. Can you say it? Black Lives Matter," Krzyzewski said to start the video. "We should be saying it every day. It's not political. This is not a political statement. It's a human rights statement. It's a fairness statement."
Krzyzewski has been at Duke since 1980, were he’s led the Blue Devils to five national titles and amassed 1,157 wins — the most in college basketball history.
He is just the latest in the sport to call for change in recent weeks following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody and Breonna Taylor’s in Louisville. Several prominent coaches, per ESPN, have led a charge to make high schools and colleges to require students take a Black history class before graduation. Several schools and conferences have created coalitions or groups designed to combat social injustice, too.
In his powerful statement, Krzyzewski wondered how people still don’t see the issue with systemic racism.
It is time to stop choosing the “easier wrong,” he said, and instead choose the “harder right.”
“Do we not see the problem, the disease, the plague that has been with our country for four centuries? Do we not see systemic racism and social injustice?” Krzyzewski said. “Come on, we all see that … It’s manifested in so many ways and has been there for four centuries.”
"We see that. And what we do when we see it? We talk, but we turn the other way. We don't solve the problem. The problem will not be solved and no problem is solved unless you acknowledge the problem. Acknowledge it. If you acknowledge it, you have the duty to solve it. We as a country have the duty to solve this problem.”
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