AUSTIN (KXAN) — Players and coaches from the Texas Longhorns football team marched to the Texas Capitol with Austin police officers Thursday to protest police brutality and racism in the country.
Around 50 Longhorns players and head coach Tom Herman participated in the walk with APD. Players locked arms as they walked away from the UT campus and into downtown Austin.
When the group reached the Capitol, several players spoke about their life experiences.
“Regardless of your skin color, regardless of your background, I’ve got love for you, so reciprocate that because until we come together there won’t be a change,” Longhorns safety Caden Sterns said.
Police officers joined the players in taking a knee in front of the Capitol gate for nine minutes to honor George Floyd.
“This can’t be it, right?” Longhorns head coach Tom Herman said. “We’ve got to be the agents of change. I love each and every one of you. I’m so proud of you for doing this.”
The march began around 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and concluded near the Texas State Capitol — the site of protests over the last week.
Longhorns senior offensive lineman Tope Imade said in a tweet that it was the players’ idea to walk with police officers.
Multiple Longhorns players and head coach Tom Herman have publicly spoken out against racism and inequality after the death of George Floyd in police custody. Defensive back Josh Thompson posted a video to Twitter Monday, calling everyone to action over Floyd’s death.
“We’re tired of being tired. I ask that we all come together as one because, at the end of the day, strength comes in numbers,” Thompson said in the post.
Texas starting quarterback Sam Ehlinger posted a video on social media over the weekend in support of his teammates.
“I realize that nobody should be treated differently because of their skin color and I’ve formed unbelievable relationships with guys that I’m so thankful for,” Ehlinger said in a video posted to social media.