Olympians are speaking out amid worldwide protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after four Minneapolis police officers tried to arrest him and one kneeled on his neck.
Dozens of athletes have tweeted, including Bermuda Olympian Tyrone Smith.
Long jumper Smith, is married to American pole vaulter Sandi Morris, spoke to KXAN’s Erin Cargile and showed her a sign he made that says “I am not a threat #BlackLivesMatter” that he took out to a protest in Austin over the weekend.
“I’ve had experiences just like so many black people in America around race, and it all comes from a perception of me being a threat — which I might be the nicest person that most people know,” Smith said, talking about times he’s been flagged by police or residents when he’s been jogging, been considered suspicious by store owners, been pulled over multiple times and not issued a ticket.
Smith is training in Austin as he attends the University of Texas. His family was originally from Bermuda but he moved to the U.S. as a child and has dual citizenship.
“You know, I’m 35 and I can recall all these names of all these people who have passed away — Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin — and they’re just ingrained in my brain and I felt like this was a moment that I really wanted to participate in,” Smith said.