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Louisville men's basketball team leads march for justice after Breonna Taylor ruling

Cassandra Negley
·Writer
·3-min read

The Louisville men’s basketball team led an hour-long demonstration on Friday, calling for unity, tolerance and equality two days after no officers were charged for their role in Breonna Taylor’s death.

“It hits different when it happens in your own backyard,” a player said in Louisville’s video. “I think I can speak for a lot of guys here when I say we’re hurting.”

Taylor was a 26-year-old EMT in Louisville. She was shot and killed by police in March and on Wednesday a grand jury decided not to move forward with charges in her death. An officer was charged with wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighbor’s apartment.

Louisville players: ‘It’s time to take a stand’

Coach Chris Mack and players David Johnson, Charles Minlend and Malik Williams gave speeches and led the peaceful march from Cardinal Stadium to Throws Field, per the Louisville Courier-Journal. It was the 121st day of protests in Louisville since Taylor’s death.

Hundreds of Cardinals athletes and citizens joined them chanting “Breonna Taylor” and “No justice, no peace.” Players wore black T-shirts with the Cardinal logo and “BLM.”

Williams, a 6-foot-11 senior from Indiana, spoke at the demonstration, via the Courier-Journal.

“Over the past three years, I’ve come to love the city of Louisville. Louisville has become home. Louisville is family. I love the ‘Ville with all my heart. That’s why I share my deepest condolences with the Taylor family,” Williams said. “It breaks my heart to hear the situation and the tragedy that Breonna went through. And to not see justice be served, it is time to take a stand. It is time to take a stand against police brutality and social injustice against the Black community.”

He urged the crowd to attend a voter registration event next weekend — echoing the call by professional athletes that “justice is on the ballot” — and shared his gratitude on social media later in the night.

Mack told the Courier-Journal he was proud to be the Cardinals coach and support the unified front during a time when the country is “so daggone divided.”

“I understand as a white guy, a white 50-year-old, that Black America is hurting. And in order for Black America to not hurt, white people have got to get involved. Older white people,” Mack said, via the Journal.

Athletic director Vince Tyra called it a “difficult day” for the city, university and athletic department in a statement the day of the grand jury announcement.

Coach Chris Mack of the Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team joins his players in a protest march on Friday in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
Coach Chris Mack of the Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team joins his players in a protest march on Friday in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

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