Dozens of Ohio University student athletes and coaches staged a march in Athens Saturday afternoon in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We’re just trying to get our athletes together so that we can continue pushing this Black Lives movement and we are going to continue to talk and to fight for people who are oppressed in this country,” OU women’s basketball player and Bobcats Lead Change member Kaylee Bambule said. Bobcats Lead Change is an organization focused bringing athletes together to push for social change and education.
Protests have continued across the country three weeks after George Floyd was killed in police custody in Minnesota. These protests have included small cities and towns across rural Appalachia like Athens.
“We really just wanted to get this together because we don’t want the message to die,” Bambule said. “We meant to keep it going. And we feel that protest is a peaceful way where we can continue spreading the message, where people can hear us in the city.”
Some 70 people peacefully marched from College Green to East State Street and then back, while receiving support and signs of solidarity from the community.
Local high school athlete Jayden Guyce said he showed up because it is important to him that his voice is heard.
“A lot of people think that you can’t do much to change things. But I believe that if you sign petitions, you go to protests and you go to marches, I believe that you’ll be able to make a change.”
Keegan Wilburn, a Freshman Wide Receiver on the football team who is White marching along his friend said, “we need people that look like me and look like him come together and be one. Love one another, not have hate. No reason to have hate. Embrace each other’s culture. Just come together and share love”.