All it took was a Zoom call with his players to spur Syracuse coach Dino Babers to break his silence on the racial tension in the country.
One of only 14 black head coaches among the 130 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision and intensely private, Babers was ready for the moment when he released a statement Wednesday on his Twitter account.
"I am angry. I am hurting," Babers wrote. "The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other innocent black lives that have been taken is wrong and inexcusable. We as a nation are hurting. Families and communities are in pain. I lived through the civil rights movement. I was alive when Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. I was alive when black men and women were forced to use separate water fountains, separate restrooms, and could not eat in certain restaurants. What is a history book to others, and news to some now, is the life I've been living. Now is the time to put a light on it."