CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Many Virginia athletes are deeply saddened and affected by the tragedy of the death of George Floyd. Their emotions are motivating them to use their athletic platforms and be the change in the world that the Wahoos want to see.
Former UVA basketball player and Phoenix Suns guard Ty Jerome is trying to make sense of why racism exists, but the former Cavalier is determined to be a part in erasing the hate.
“We don’t think just black lives matter, but black people are literally being hunted down by cops, or unarmed and being killed for absolutely no reason. So that’s what I want people to understand," Jerome said.
Jerome, along with dozens of other Wahoos, have walked in protests and used social media as a way to express their thoughts and feelings.
“I think talking about it as a first step," Jerome said. "Trying to educate yourself as much as possible and when you have a platform, even if it’s just a little platform, tweet about it, post about it, or go protest. Just doing anything you can, so that it inspires other people.”
“No matter if you’re white or you’re black, no matter what, everyone should want to change," Jerome said. "You look at all the videos of what the cops are doing and people that are protesting. I feel like everyone should want change.”
With Jerome’s father being mixed, George Floyd’s death affects him differently.
“Could’ve been my dad," Jerome said. “It could’ve been my cousin, it could’ve been my uncle, it could’ve been my grandma. It’s just when you think about it like that, it hits different.”
Many current and former Wahoos, as well as coaches, say they will continue to fight for justice until there is justice.