With most major cities in the United States protesting police brutality and racial injustice in recent days after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, the UConn women's basketball team released a statement on Sunday:
As a team we are hurting. We feel responsible for speaking out and advocating for our black community and the injustices we face. Racism is not getting worse, it's getting filmed, and more people are becoming aware of the 400 years of oppression that black people have been subjected to in America.
We are nauseated by the social injustice and police brutality that is reoccurring toward the black community. So yes, we kneel during the national anthem. Yes, we are rioting. And yes, we are protesting because we are tired of innocent black lives dying at the hands of police officers who do not care about our humanity.
For those who are not black, silence is the biggest betrayal right now. The hardest part is watching friends who are not of color not even question what is happening right now. It's time for us to start preaching togetherness, justice, and love amongst one another.
We are proud to be a team made up of diverse women who will never stop pushing for the most basic human rights for our people. Standing up, fighting for what you believe in, and bringing attention to these injustices is the only way it will progress.
As a team, we are here. We are listening. We are woke.
Floyd died following his arrest in Minnesota after police officer Derek Chauvin -- who was later arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter -- had his knee on a prone Floyd's neck for roughly nine minutes while Floyd repeatedly said "I can't breathe."
After protests began in and around Minneapolis following the death of Floyd, other protests have taken place in New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, and elsewhere.