6.1 williams

In the days following the death of George Floyd, there has been an overwhelming and unified reaction from coaches at Eastern Kentucky University and also many from Madison County's high schools.

And the voices continue to get louder.

"Until a wound heals properly, it will continue to be re-infected," EKU women's basketball coach Samantha Williams posted on Twitter. "The events over the last few weeks, that include the killing of an unarmed black man who TOLD the officer he could not breathe ... continue to expose the wound that has never been able to fully heal in the United States of America."

Williams has expressed concern on her social media platforms about racial issues in this country for the past couple of days, including a lengthy, strongly worded statement she released on Saturday.

Williams is currently the only African-American head coach of an female athletic program at EKU.

"I am firm believer that bigotry/racism are learned behaviors," she said. "We aren't born to hate one another. Until we teach our kids to judge one another on the content of their character and not skin tone, it's going to be a heard to heal the wound."

EKU baseball coach Edwin Thompson, who played at Howard University, addressed the growing racial tensions on social media as well.

"The past few days has been a challenging time to process things," he said on Sunday. "Our country is at a crossroads with how we treat other people. We have seen injustice happen and for some reason people think that it is OK. No matter what you look like, what you believe in, we are all humans and Americans."

Jeremy Hawkins, an EKU football assistant coach who is African American, tweeted over the weekend, "We need a change in this world! I am totally against all racism and it sickens me to see the actions of this world we live in."

That tweet was shared by EKU head football coach Walt Wells, who added, "Well said Jeremy. We will stand with you any day!!"

Both posts were punctuated with the same hashtag -  #CoachesStandforJustice

That movement has grown on social media in the past few days.

Many local coaches have posted a pledge based around that hashtag, including Madison Southern boys basketball coach Austin Newton.

"I commit to fight racism, to not just send a tweet but to move forward with my values and actions, and I hope you will join me," Newton posted. "We have a problem and we must be better. Racism is learned behavior & the injustice is sickening. #CoachesStandforJustice"

The reactions from local coaches continued throughout the weekend as protests in many American cities grew more and more violent.

Louisville, the hometown of Williams, has been the site of several days of clashes with the police.

"We're in the fight for this county's soul," Williams said. "Guess it will depend on what kind of soul you want it to be."

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