Coaches from across Virginia rallying to protest police brutality

“The biggest thing is to educate our kids."
Posted at 7:13 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 19:16:06-04

RICHMOND, Va. – Darryl Watts understands first-hand how upset Americans are over the events of the last two weeks following the death of George Floyd.

“Personally at Armstrong, we had a [racial} experience during the playoffs at Central Woodstock,” stated Watts. “It’s funny that it comes so close to what we’re going through now.

After seeing the images of local protest marches in and around Richmond, the Armstrong boys basketball coach got together with John Marshall Head Coach Ty White and St. Christopher’s Assistant Coach Stephen Lewis, to see how they can build a better dialogue with police and have adult conversations about race relations and police brutality.

“It hurt my heart,” Watts explained. “But at the same time it pushed me to call Stephen and it pushed me to call Luqman Jabber (former VUU star guard and head coach), and Ty White and say guys we have a platform that can make an impact on what’s going on in our kids’ lives.”

“We definitely want it to be peacefully,” Lewis said. “We don’t want any rioting on anything like that to even be an offspring in what we’re doing.

Saturday at 11 a.m., several coaches from across the state of Virginia will meet at the Arthur Ashe Monument for a rally to let their voices be heard and be the first step in hopefully having a stronger voice on social issues.

“The biggest thing is to educate our kids,” Watts explained. “As I mentioned it to Stephen, we’re not going to limited this to Basketball Coaches, we’re going to make it Rec Coaches, AAU Coaches, if you coaching you come in contact with kids, that’s an opportunity for you to educate and have an impact.”

“I want to leave it as a feel good moment for Richmond,” Lewis added. “And to have it be a springboard for things going forward. All of the coaches have been talking about action and this is just not a photo-op for us. We want to stay together, continue to do programming this summer, towards the school year.”

So, why is the protest being held at the Arthur Ashe monument?

“I suggested another location,” Watts said on having the rally at the Arthur Ashe statue. “And then we put it in the Zoom, it was brought to our attention well Arthur Ashe stood for as a man. His values and his morals. And that’s what we want to stand for. That was the ideal fit. It fit right away.”