NC State, UNC, Duke coaches react to George Floyd's death and nationwide protests

Emily Leiker, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in Basketball

During a weekend of protests across North Carolina and the U.S., professional and collegiate coaches have been called on to use their platforms to speak out on the death of George Floyd.

Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25 when an officer put his knee on Floyd's neck, not allowing him to breathe. Protests started in Minneapolis last week and quickly spread across the country, including in Raleigh where two nights of protests turned violent, leading to Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin setting a city-wide curfew beginning Monday night.

College coaches in the Triangle have heeded that call, taking to Twitter to share their thoughts.

"Unfortunately, there will always be ignorant and heartless people in the world," N.C. State women's basketball coach Wes Moore wrote on Twitter on May 28 -- two days before protests began in Raleigh.

Moore was the first area coach to speak up, before Kevin Keatts, Dave Doeren and others in the area followed suit.

"How do we stop this from happening in the future to our kids, our brothers, or myself?" Wolfpack men's basketball coach Keatts said. "Our path forward must be one of change, peace, compassion towards mankind and a willingness to do better as a collective society."


Doeren, head football coach, retweeted Keatts' official statement before adding his own. He acknowledged his platform as a Power 5 coach, adding that he doesn't use it enough.

He also shared statements from defensive coordinator Tony Gibson and co-offensive coordinator George McDonald:

While some college athletic directors have issued statements on behalf of their entire departments, N.C. State's Boo Corrigan retweeted Keatts' statement and one from Chancellor Dr. Randy Woodson.

Duke Vice President and athletic director Kevin White released a statement from the Duke Athletics Twitter account.


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