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Minnesota Football players & coaches speak out in response to the death of George Floyd

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Gopher football coaches and players react to the tragic death that has sparked outrage across the country.

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

People across the country and around the globe have been making their voices heard in response to George Floyd’s death. Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25 after Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. As Minneapolis emerged as an epicenter for protests against systemic racism and police brutality, students, instructors, administrators, and coaches at the University of Minnesota have been part of this conversation.

The players were the first to speak out, starting with Rashod Bateman:

Seth Green, Tanner Morgan, and Brevyn Spann-Ford joined Bateman in sharing their emotions, personal stories, and support for everyone who was dealing with the killing of George Floyd.

The players were supported in their message by head football coach P.J. Fleck, who was among the first college coaches at the University of Minnesota and across the country to speak out. He began by issuing a statement last Friday:

On Monday, Fleck appeared on ESPN First Take and spoke at length about the impact Floyd’s death has had on his players and the need “to listen and have empathy and to be very real about what is going on with the social injustice around us.”

You can watch his full comments here:

Tuesday morning, Fleck spoke with Paul Allen on KFAN and was emotional in talking about his conversations over the last week with the players and their families.

You can listen to the full interview here:

Defensive line coach Chad Wilt also posted a thoughtful response to Twitter about being committed to creating change and promoting love in his personal life:

Gopher football players have continued to take to social media to reflect on recent events:

Several former and current players have also participated in protests. Carter Coughlin, Antoine Winfield Jr., Thomas Barber, Kamal Martin, and Clay Geary protested on the I-35W Mississippi River bridge on Sunday:

Seth Green and Brevyn Spann-Ford also protested on 38th and Chicago:

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