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‘This is the generation to make change,’ says USF Bulls cornerback KJ Sails

The senior says “it’s no longer a race thing” as he leads several hundred people on a “unity walk” Saturday down Central Avenue in downtown Tampa.
From left, Kiana Campbell and her partner KJ Sails hold the hands of their 2-year-old son, King, as USF football coach Jeff Scott and quarterback Jordan McCloud take part in a "unity walk" Saturday in downtown Tampa. Sails, a senior cornerback for USF and a graduate of East Bay High, organized the walk in memory of, among others, George Floyd and Martin Chambers, a 19-year-old African American who in 1967 was fatally shot in the back by a white Tampa police officer.
From left, Kiana Campbell and her partner KJ Sails hold the hands of their 2-year-old son, King, as USF football coach Jeff Scott and quarterback Jordan McCloud take part in a "unity walk" Saturday in downtown Tampa. Sails, a senior cornerback for USF and a graduate of East Bay High, organized the walk in memory of, among others, George Floyd and Martin Chambers, a 19-year-old African American who in 1967 was fatally shot in the back by a white Tampa police officer. [ OCTAVIO JONES | Special to the Times ]
Published Jun. 6, 2020
Updated Jun. 7, 2020

TAMPA ― Precipitation converged with poignance Saturday afternoon when USF senior cornerback KJ Sails led a procession of several hundred on a “unity walk” from downtown Tampa to Central Park Village.

The half-mile walk, which featured dozens of USF coaches, administrators and student-athletes, was coordinated by Sails to promote racial equality and harmony in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died while in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis. Unsigned Preps founder Ricky Sailor and professional wrestler/philanthropist Thad Bullard were among those who helped Sails arrange the event.

“With all of us gathered here today, it’s no longer a race thing,” Sails, an East Bay High graduate, told the group as he stood before Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church on Central Avenue. “It’s not a you-versus-me thing. It’s not a black-versus-white thing. It’s a team thing. Just like sports, we work as a team.”

USF senior cornerback KJ Sails is consoled by WWE wrestler Thad Bullard (aka Titus O'Neil) during Sails' "unity walk" on Saturday in downtown Tampa. A graduate of East Bay High, Sails organized the walk in memory of, among others, George Floyd and Martin Chambers, a 19-year-old African American who in 1967 was fatally shot in the back by a white Tampa police officer.
USF senior cornerback KJ Sails is consoled by WWE wrestler Thad Bullard (aka Titus O'Neil) during Sails' "unity walk" on Saturday in downtown Tampa. A graduate of East Bay High, Sails organized the walk in memory of, among others, George Floyd and Martin Chambers, a 19-year-old African American who in 1967 was fatally shot in the back by a white Tampa police officer. [ OCTAVIO JONES | Special to the Times ]

A complete account of the walk can be found in our comprehensive report of Saturday’s marches/protests occurring throughout the bay area. Sails, who broke down a couple of times while speaking Saturday, said God moved him to organize the event following Floyd’s death.

“This is the generation to make change,” he said. “It has to start with us.”