MSU football coach Bobby Petrino: ‘We can’t keep letting something like race divide us’ | Springfield, Missouri
Missouri State head football coach Bobby Petrino has released a statement in response to the death of George Floyd and the accompanying protests around the country. “We can’t keep letting something like race divide us,” he wrote. (Photo: Andrew Jansen/Springfield News-Leader)
Missouri State head football coach Bobby Petrino joined the chorus of sports figures who have released statements in response to the death of George Floyd and the accompanying protests around the country.
Petrino along with women’s basketball coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton have been two of Missouri State’s head coaches to release statements.
In a photo posted to Twitter, Petrino’s daughter and four biracial grandchildren held signs reading “I am George Floyd,” “I am Breonna Taylor,” “I am Ahmaud Arbery,” “I can’t Breathe,” “Black Lives Matter” and “Am I next??”
“God blessed me with 4 amazing biracial grandchildren,” Petrino wrote. “I couldn’t imagine someone seeing them like they did George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery or Breonna Taylor. We have too much that can unite us, we can’t keep letting something like race divide us #CoachesStandForJustice”
Petrino also attached a Facebook link written by his daughter, Kelsey Petrino Scott, who is married to MSU defensive line coach L.D. Scott.
“Last night I had to have a conversation with my children that my parents never had to have with me,” she wrote. “It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. With tears in my eyes, I took the time to explain to them the ugliness of this world. We talked about the color of their skin and the texture of their hair, and how that alone — unfortunately, and without logical reason — can be seen as a threat to some people.
“I explained to them that these instances are all created by fear and ignorance. That people are fearful of what they don’t understand or have experience with.
“We made sure to also talk about how there is lots of love between white and black people too. Pointing to the love between their daddy and I. And the love they share with their friends. Seeing the hurt in their eyes, I also made sure they understood there was absolutely nothing wrong with being black. That being black is a beautiful thing and nothing they ever need to be ashamed about.
“My circumstances might prevent me from protesting with you, but I can take a knee with you. And I can be an advocate for you. And while I know most of you are more than capable of being your own voice, I will proudly use mine in any way I can to help you.
“I repeat… YOU ARE NOT ALONE!”
Floyd’s death was shown in a video that was posted online of a police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes. The video reignited conversation around racism, police brutality and unequal treatment by law enforcement in the United States.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday, and is facing third-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Floyd, who was 46 years old. All four officers involved in Monday’s incident were fired Tuesday.
Springfield has seen protests in its city streets in recent days. A diverse group of hundreds marched around Battlefield Mall on Saturday and Sunday. A demonstration on Friday saw a large crowd rallying at Historic City Hall.
Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417–371–6987, by email at email@example.com or join the conversation on Twitter where his handle is @WyattWheeler_NL. You can also sign up for his free “Bears Beat” newsletter by subscribing on News-Leader.com.
Originally published at https://www.news-leader.com.