Herd football take a knee to honor George Floyd

In light of recent events, the Marshall University football team participated in honoring George Floyd, a black man who was killed by police during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020.

This event sparked the attention of many people as protests, petitions, social media movements and more circulated across the United States and even reached other parts of the world.

Members of the Thundering Herd football team on Thursday decided to take a knee for eight minutes and forty-six seconds exactly at 8:46 p.m. at the Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington.

The eight minutes and forty-six seconds represents how long Floyd struggled to breathe while Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck, restraining him to the ground. Chauvin did not remove his knee and Floyd was found unconscious once paramedics arrived at the scene.

“You know, all us have been talking about the fact that, now more than ever, Black lives matter,” Marshall University President Jerome “Jerry” A. Gilbert said in an interview with Marshall Athletics. “Our players wanted to pay tribute to the memory of George Floyd. They decided to come out here and do a kneeling.”

Maurice R. Cooley, associate vice president of intercultural affairs, had previously met with the athletics department, football team and coaches to discuss the occasion.

“Actually, when we met on that occasion, we discovered that the Marshall football players had already expressed this as one of their forms, one of the things they wanted to do. We could see in the discussion that the coaches agreed,” Cooley said in an interview with Marshall Athletics.

Gilbert said that movements like this with the football team have a lot of support from the Marshall community.

“We are so proud of our players for wanting to express themselves in this way. It certainly reflects the sentiment of many people at Marshall, and a lot of us wanted to be here to witness and support them. It’s a great thing that they are doing,” Gilbert said.

Taylor Huddleston can be contacted at [email protected]