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Utah Football Running Back TJ Green Walks Alongside Police Officers In Arizona Protest

Utah Utes running back TJ Green (4) celebrates with offensive lineman Orlando Umana (50) after Green ran for a touchdown, putting the Utes up 35-0 after the PAT, during the game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Utes running back TJ Green walked alongside Chandler Police Department officers during a protest in his hometown.

Green, a native of Chandler, Arizona, marched next to the officers as part of a peaceful protest on Thursday, June 4.

On May 25, George Floyd, a black man, died after a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. Since Floyd’s death, worldwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality have taken place.

The Chandler Police shared a photo of Green walking alongside the officers on their Facebook account.

The Utes running back shared a screenshot of the Facebook post on his Twitter account and said, “Be the change.”

TJ Green at Utah

The running back will enter the 2020 season as a junior. During his Utah career, Green has appeared in 25 games over the last two seasons.

Green has posted career totals of 59 carries for 258 yards and a touchdown.

Utah Football on Racial Injustice

University of Utah coaches and former players have expressed their feelings about racial injustice amid the nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Utah football defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley tweeted his thoughts on the recent events.

“What happened on Memorial Day in Minnesota won’t leave my mind,” Scalley wrote. “The video sickened me. The senseless, cruel killing of George Floyd is inexcusable and indefensible. Many of my dearest friends and brothers are men of color, and I can’t imagine my life without their love or influence. I think of the young men of color I have coached, and continue to coach, and am heartbroken that any of them would have to live with the very fear that racism presents. Our nation has to be better. I’m grateful for a Utah Football Family that embraces the strength that diversity provides, and the powerful love it evokes!”

Former Utah offensive lineman Isaac Asiata recalled his time in college with his teammates.

“Football was such a big blessing in my life,” Asiata wrote. “It blessed me with exposure to different races, cultures and backgrounds. You learn about people. You accept them for who they are as a person. And form a bond as equals striving TOGETHER. United. Together. Eternal. Soldiers.”

Former Utah and current Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson expressed his feelings on social media.

“As a black man, a father, and a leader, this is my message,” Johnson wrote. “These current and recent events shouldn’t bring the Black and minority community together due to the fact that it has been like this. We need to stay together and grow together. We have to treat each other with love and mercy as we want others to do to us. We have to educate our generation and the ones that are coming after us that there is no divider and all men and women are created equal. I wouldn’t know what I would do if my daughter was treated as if she was beneath anybody on this earth.”

“Everyone on this earth has value and needs to be treated as such,” Johnson continued. “For all of the black community, we have to be that change that demonstrates how much we should be valued. That starts with education in school and in the real world. We should be equipped about our rights in our country, how to handle authority, how to be business men/women, how to be leaders and push other people to be great. We have to change our community first before we can expect other communities to change. As a leader I challenge the black community to these simple steps. Love others. Educate others.”

Former Utah and current Indianapolis Colts safety Julian Blackmon shared his feelings as well.

“Understand that nobody hates all white people,” Blackmon wrote. “Nobody is saying you’re all racist. Step out of your box and look at the world in our eyes. It’s a systematic issue. We were sworn rights that are constantly violated. So understand us. Before you respond with emotion.”

 

 

 

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