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UCLA football team calls for an end to police brutality in video

Dispersed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UCLA football team united Thursday to release a powerful video calling for change in the wake of police brutality against African Americans that resulted in the recent death of George Floyd.

“Say his name,” Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson says in the roughly minute-long video’s opening moment.

“George Floyd,” linebacker Carl Jones replies, followed by screen shots of four teammates, and then 16 teammates and coaches, repeating the name from various remote locations as the team waits for clearance to return to campus to start preparations for the 2020 season.

Several players add to the dialogue in a sequence that focuses on the issues that have gripped the nation in the days since a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck as he said he couldn’t breathe and pleaded for help. Floyd died from his injuries and the four officers involved have all been charged.

“Black Americans continue to be victims of police brutality and systemic racism,” offensive lineman Jon Gaines II says before the conversation is picked up by other teammates. “Our country is in a state of turmoil as a result of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of law enforcement. He isn’t alone; he is one of many. … Our reach is further than Westwood and it’s our job to speak up when we see wrong. This is wrong.”

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Coach Chip Kelly then appears, saying, “Say his name,” followed by more replies of “George Floyd.”

“We stand with those in the fight for equality,” receiver Michael Ezeike continues, followed by more teammates contributing. “We stand with those in the fight for justice. We stand with those in the fight against oppression. We stand.”

The video closes with an image of 48 players and coaches repeating, “We stand” followed by the hashtag #BLACKLIVESMATTER.

The main concern of black people right now isn’t whether they’re standing three or six feet apart, but whether their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers will be murdered by cops.

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