They are athletes. They are coaches. They are role models. They are fathers.
They are angry. They are tired. They are scared. They are hopeful.
This Father’s Day, we reached out to a number of the most prominent African American dads in the Tampa Bay area sports landscape to talk about the ongoing quest for racial equality.
In their words:
“When (my son) gets older, I will explain to him that you were a part of history, you helped change history. You helped change the world.” Read more.
“My dad used to say we should do what we can to make things a little bit better for everyone. Hopefully, along the way, some hearts can change. Because I’m afraid that’s what it’s going to take.” Read more.
“My sons are more prepared to understand (racial inequality) more, even though they don’t like it, and they never have liked it. They don’t like anybody being treated bad, whether they’re black, white, lesbian, gay or straight.” Read more.
“I think people are beginning to wake up and see what’s really going on. But it’s going to take everybody, every race, everybody. Stop spreading so much hate.” Read more.
“I have belief. I ain’t in no ‘hope’ business. I believe. I believe we can do better. I believe we will do better.” Read more.
“I told my boys, despite these dark days that I remain hopeful because I see black and white protesters standing arm in arm and saying, in fact acknowledging, that black folks have been gaslighted for too long.” Read more.
“The big conversation I’ve always had with my son, it was always about inclusion. ... It’s good to have friends from all sorts of races and all sorts of backgrounds and be as inclusive as you can.” Read more.
Noah Lewis Jr.
“Given the time that we live in, the effort that it’s going to take to break a system, it almost seems so insurmountable at times. I don’t say that in a defeated way or in a way that I don’t think it’s possible.” Read more.
“I just want to give my kids the opportunity to have a great education to be able to pursue whatever their dreams are and just opening their opportunities and trying to change the generation.” Read more.
“You think about your children. My children. And then when I see something happen in the news where these guys get shot, I’m thinking about that’s somebody’s child. There’s a father that is devastated because that child is killed.” Read more.