Saturday, June 6th, 2020

Women’s basketball community members “Run for Maud” to support justice efforts for Ahmaud Arbery

Published on May 9, 2020

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Women’s basketball coaches and athletes joined in the call for justice via social media for Ahmaud Arbery, a young black man who was murdered while unarmed while jogging in Glynn County, Ga. Many expressed grief, including Old Dominion head coach DeLisha Milton-Jones, who grew up in that part of Georgia.

The Facts

Two white men, Greg McMichael and son Travis, gunned down Arbery in late February but faced no charges until a cellphone video of the killing came to light recently and after a national uproar over the lack of an investigation or arrest.

The elder McMichael is a former police detective in the county seat of Brunswick and worked under the county’s current district attorney who recused herself from the case. A prosecutor assigned to the case indicated in April that he found no grounds for arresting the McMichaels who said that they were acting in self-defense even though the video shows them chasing Arbery, who was simply minding his business jogging. Their violent reactions stemmed from their unfounded suspicions that Arbery, who was not a stranger in the neighborhood, was a burglar, and provoked an encounter that led to a murder.

Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden of nearby Liberty County requested that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation look into the killing of Arbery.

“Run for Maud”

Arbery’s birthday was Friday, May 8 when he would have turned 26. Earlier this week, residents of Brunswick, including members and leaders of the town’s black community, organized a run and protest in the neighborhood on Tuesday. Runners around the nation participated in “Run for Maud” events where they ran 2.23 miles to commemorate the day Arbery took his final jog, Feb. 23.

Social Media Outcry

Many in the women’s basketball community took to social media to show their participation in “Run for Maude” events. In addition, a coalition of male athletes led by the co-founder of the Players Coalition, Anquan Boldin, signed on to a letter requesting that the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice investigate the murder.

As of Friday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested the McMichaels and other arrests may be imminent according to NPR.

 

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My heart is heavy. This isn’t a new feeling, it’s a burden I’ve carried for my entire life. There are days I don’t recognize the weight and there are others when it’s unbearable. As a mixed woman, I have battled where I belong and struggled understanding why I wasn’t accepted. “Don’t say your black…don’t say your white.” It’s very confusing growing up and understanding why things were said to me, but it never made it right. At the end of the day I chose to stand for what is RIGHT! No matter how hard it’s been (kneeling in the WNBA in 2015… when black lives matter became blue lives matter and became all lives matter until our voices were chastised for ever acting like our black lives mattered.) As a wife of a strong black man my heart cries for the pain I know is in his heart and his concern for his family and his two black sons he will have to teach what living in this world is really like. We will have to teach him “how to act” and hope it’s enough (because we all know it isn’t!) I understand more in the last five years the real meaning of “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.” I will NEVER be embarrassed for kneeling, standing up for justice, being a voice of equality, showing my sons what a strong black family looks like and means in this society. I pray anyone reading this who doesn’t identify as black to make this personal for you too. It’s no longer okay to stand by the wayside and watch people be murdered for the color of their skin! No more making excuses like they should have done this or that…or let’s wait to see what happens, I can’t relate to your experience, what about black on black crime, and end with I have black friends or I’m not a racist. Stand up for what’s right, even if it doesn’t directly hurt you! To all my beautiful black and brown brothers who’ve been mercilessly slaughtered by our law enforcement…I’m sorry! I’m sorry we couldn’t save you or prevent those that came after you. I’m sorry our society has left you down. #irunwithmaud #blacklivesmatter #justiceforahmaudaubrey

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