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James Franklin Issues Statement Following George Floyd’s Death

Penn State football head coach James Franklin issued a statement Saturday afternoon regarding the “tragic deaths” of unarmed black citizens, including George Floyd, over the past few weeks.

“My heart is broken, my beliefs have been challenged and my emotions are raw,” Franklin wrote. “These senseless deaths are a symptom of a larger problem and in moments like this, silence is a deafening indifference.

“Our country is at a critical point and it’s imperative when the road is bumpy, the path convoluted, the reality heartbreaking, we remember who and what We Are,” Franklin continued. “We Are a country of opportunity, a nation of ambition and a people rooted in diversity, shared experiences and hope.”

He added he is concerned for the health and well-being of his players. The fact that young men in the United States can have their lives stolen from them is something that Franklin describes as “unconscionable.”

Although these tragedies have impacted Franklin and countless others around the nation, he’s encouraged every day by his players and thankful for the opportunity to “lead men of honor, character, tolerance, and empathy.”

“It’s not only the tragic deaths of these individuals the last few weeks, it’s the smothering of hope and the suffocation of a dream that left me feeling so raw,” Franklin explained. “These weren’t just people of color, these were AMERICANS. These were citizens of our country and if We Are to take a step forward, we cannot leave them behind. This is OUR country. This is OUR future. This is OUR moment.”

Franklin closed the statement by honoring Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.

He’s the latest Penn Stater to honor the life of George Floyd and others who were victims of violence. Penn State Eric Barron released a statement Saturday morning regarding the tragedy. Student government leaders released a similar statement Friday afternoon. Additionally, Penn State baseball head coach Rob Cooper announced that Penn State baseball will retire No. 5 for the 2021 season in honor of Floyd.

State College community members will host a “Justice For George Floyd” protest at noon on Sunday, May 31 at the Allen Street Gates

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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