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Legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski made an impassioned call for wider support in the fight against racial injustice in a video released Friday by the Duke basketball program’s official Twitter account. The nearly three-minute video begins with Krzyzewski plainly stating that, “Black Lives Matter.”
“We should be saying it every day,” Krzyzewski said. “It’s not political. This is not a political statement. It’s a human rights statement. It’s a fairness statement.”
Krzyzewski, 73, said in the video that he has spent time over the last couple of months listening and thinking as civil unrest has swept the nation in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
“Do we not see the problem, the disease, the plague that has been with our country for four centuries?” Krzyzewski said. “Do we not see systemic racism and social injustice? Come on. We all see that. It’s manifested in so many ways. Criminal justice, the killings that we have seen and that we haven’t seen. The denial of economic opportunities for our black community. Educational opportunities. Healthcare. It’s manifested in so many ways and has been there for four centuries.”
Krzyzewski concluded by hearkening back to a cadet prayer he remembered from his time as a student-athlete at Army. It implored those reciting it to “choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.”
“We as a country have chosen the easier wrong for four centuries,” Krzyzewski said. “It is time to choose the harder right. It is time to end systemic racism and social injustice. It’s time. Black lives matter.”
The video, which was retweeted over 1,000 times within the first hour it was published, was met with a mostly positive reception. Even former North Carolina star Brendan Haywood backed Kryzewski’s message.