Maryland men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon provided an update on Wednesday regarding his team’s discussion on racism, calling systemic racism a “humanity problem” and declaring that “Black lives matter.”
“During the last seven weeks, I’ve done a lot of reading, watching and listening,” Turgeon said in a video posted to Twitter. “I was amazed at the systematic racism that has gone on in America for over 400 years. It’s not right and it has to change.
“One of my players said, ‘Coach, it isn’t right. We’re humans too,‘” Turgeon added. “And he couldn’t have been more right. This a humanity problem. Black lives matter. And the sooner that we all understand that, the better off America will be.”
Turgeon urged others to educate themselves and said he plans to provide more updates on the team’s discussions in a future video.
“We have the right movement going in the right direction, but this can’t stop,” Turgeon said. “I used to be proud to say I was a non-racist. That’s not enough anymore. It’s about being an anti-racist.”
After the death of George Floyd and nationwide protests against police brutality and racial inequality, Turgeon released a statement, speaking out against injustices.
He also said his team would read “Why We Can’t Wait,” Martin Luther King Jr.‘s Nobel Peace Prize-winning exploration of the events and forces behind the civil rights movement, to better understand systemic racism.
Turgeon was also one of the multiple people named to be the university’s representative in the Big Ten’s Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition, a group of university coaches, student-athletes and leaders who will work to help combat racism and allow student-athletes to express their rights to free speech and peaceful protest.
“This is an important fight for me,” Turgeon said. “I need more people to jump on board and be a part of this.”