Former BYU Football Coach, Receiver Speak About George Floyd’s Death, Impact Moving Forward
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former BYU and current Virginia Cavaliers football head coach Bronco Mendenhall released a statement in response to the death of George Floyd and former Cougars wide receiver Ross Apo spoke to KSLSports.com about the impact it will have in the future.
Floyd died in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25 after a police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Bronco Mendenhall’s Statement on George Floyd’s Death
Mendenhall posted his feelings about the incident in a social media post on Saturday, May 30.
“I was horrified and deeply saddened by the footage of the last moments in the life of George Floyd,” the former head coach of the Cougars tweeted. “Like so many before him, Mr. Floyd’s death was the preventable product of a system that too often treats Black Americans as targets for suspicion, oppression, and violence.”
Mendenhall was the Cavaliers’ head coach in 2017 when James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of people who were protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The incident killed one person and injured 28 others.
“Over the past three days I have found myself thinking of the many young men that I have been fortunate to coach and get to know in my career,” Mendenhall continued. “Each of them is a child of a loving Father in Heaven, full of their own power and potential to make a positive impact on the world around them — just like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others were before their deaths.”
The former BYU coach continued by expressing his gratitude to coach players from different walks of life. He also said that people should use Floyd’s death to “not waste another moment” in building a society of equality for everyone.
“I am fortunate and privileged, humbled and honored, to lead young men of all races, faiths, and all beliefs in a shared pursuit of excellence on the field of play, in the classroom, and in life after college. I have no way of fully understanding the fear, pain, and anger members of the Black community at UVA and all over the world are feeling right now. But that doesn’t absolve me, or anyone else, from our responsibility to be honest about the world around us and to use our influence to drive positive change. I pray that God will bless the memory of George Floyd and so many others and that we will not waste another moment to build a society where every person truly enjoys the same right to life, liberty and happiness as citizens of this nation.”
Prior to coaching the Cavaliers, Mendenhall coached football at BYU. From 2003-04, Mendenall was the Cougars’ defensive coordinator. He was the head coach at BYU from 2005-15.
Former BYU WR Ross Apo on George Floyd’s Death
Former BYU wide receiver Ross Apo joined his former head coach in speaking about Floyd’s death and the impact it will have moving forward.
Apo told KSLSports.com that Geroge Floyd’s death affects “all of us.”
“Now the line between police and civilians gets thicker. Trust is lost at some points on both sides. It’s only a matter of time before the people start protesting and things get out of hand,” Apo told KSLSports.com “We can only try to be united moving forward, or else these senseless situations will become more common. A real divide will begin.”
Apo played receiver at BYU from 2010-14. He nows trains aspiring athletes.
Salt Lake City Protests
Mendenhall’s statement was released on the same day that thousands of protesters gathered more 40 miles north of BYU at the Utah State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City.
Protesters gathered as part of a national movement in regards to George Floyd’s death involving a police officer in Minnesota.
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