North Carolina Central men’s basketball coach LeVelle Moton is speaking out on the perceived silence of white Power Five basketball and football coaches in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, who is African American, died while in police custody in Minneapolis on Monday, leading to third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges against officer Derek Chauvin, who is white.
Speaking on ESPN Radio, Moton said white Power Five coaches in both sports appear to care about African Americans only when they are on their teams.
“The reality is a lot of these coaches have been able to create generational wealth,” Moton, 45, said Sunday. “Their grandkids’ kids are gonna be able to live a prosperous life because athletes who were the complexion of George Floyd were able to run a football, throw a football, shoot a basketball or whatever have you so they have been able to benefit from athletes that look like George Floyd and many more. But whenever people (who are) the complexion of George Floyd are killed, assassinated, murdered in the street in broad daylight, they’re silent.”
While Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann tweeted his support of Seth Towns after the grad transfer was detained by police at a protest in Columbus, Moton expressed dismay with the collective coaching fraternity.
On Thursday, Moton shared an interaction on Twitter detailing that he and former Tar Heels player Raymond Felton had with police officers in North Carolina in 2005. Moton said he was held at gunpoint during that encounter, with his mother overhearing the situation on speakerphone.
Now, Moton wants members of the coaching fraternity to speak up as opposed to being silent.
“I have a problem with (their silence) because it seems as if black lives matter to them whenever they can benefit from it or whenever they’re getting them first downs, catching an alley-oop or shooting a (3-pointer) or whatever,” Moton said. “When it’s time for humanity to speak up on behalf of the student athlete, it’s silent, it’s crickets. And my problem is if the murdering of black Americans is too risky of an issue for you to stand up as a leader, then who are they really playing for?”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)