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Cuonzo Martin on fighting injustice

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Mizzou Links for Wednesday, June 3

Cuonzo Martin has a lot to say, and I am listening intently

To quote my fine colleague, Deputy Manager Josh, over the last few days, Missouri athletes, coaches and administrators have been speaking out on the ongoing civil unrest in America, specifically as it relates to the deaths of black men like Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless others. We’ve covered this in several morning posts now, and will continue to do so for the time being as this is just not the time for silence.

Please note— This is a much more somber links post than what you all are used to seeing from me, but this is serious, and I am really struggling with all of this (as I am sure are many of you). I’m exhausted physically and emotionally, and just really, really angry. I can only imagine how hard this is for black people who deal with this day in and day out. My heart goes out to them and I am doing my best to educate myself and others whenever possible. And as I learn more, the louder my voice becomes.

Late Monday evening, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an in-depth conversation with Mizzou Hoops coach Cuonzo Martin about his promise to fight injustice and ‘weed’ out racism. You can read it here, but here are a few highlights. It’s — as expected — tremendous, and it was honestly hard to narrow down my choices of what to share.

When talking about why it took longer for Martin to make a statement than some others, he said that he went back and forth on how to respond, wanting to make sure it was what he really wanted to convey. As Missouri’s only black head coach and someone who has a well-known backstory, he knew that this statement was important and he HAD to get it right because he (and others) would hold him to it.

His first four words? “It has to stop.

“You have so many emotions,” Martin told the Post-Dispatch in a phone interview Monday. “You’re exhausted. You’re sitting there like, man, how do you move forward? I say this with respect, but it feels like you’re hopeless.”

As for how he’s addressing recent events with the team, in last Friday’s team Zoom meeting, Martin had Columbia’s Chief of Police, Geoff Jones, join them. That meeting, he said went longer than any other meeting they’ve had. They talked, they vented, and they came to solutions on how they could work together moving forward.

And finally, in regards to recent events happening while COVID has halted sports, Martin had this to say (side note— I had a similar conversation with several people Tuesday about this):

The one thing it’s (COVID-19) done is allowed people to be with their families to reflect and be together. It’s also stopped time. Time has stopped. If this situation (George Floyd’s killing) would have taken place without the pandemic it’d be a blip on the radar. Next week we’d be right back at it. Because there are no sporting events and not much else going on in the world. We can see it now. We see it again tomorrow and there’s nothing to stop it. We see it the next day. We have to see it. We can be on the forefront and create change. We can protest and protest effectively. We can protest to keep moving forward and create change. I don’t know if we can ever get another opportunity like this in our lifetime.

Once again, and I know I say this all the time, but seriously— I could not be more proud and happy that this man is our coach. PLEASE read this article. It is eye-opening and WELL worth your time.

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Mizzou’s sports teams and coaches observed #BlackoutTuesday, and as such, didn’t post anything on social media aside from the black square to express their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and those protesting the murder of George Floyd. Some also shared information on additional resources within their posts, which was an excellent use of their voices.

Local media members did write a number of stories on various Mizzou Sports-related topics, however. Those, as always, are referenced are below.

Stay safe out there.


Yesterday at Rock M


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  • And one last thing I’ll leave you with that hopefully makes you smile: Friend of the (Dive Cuts) Pod, CJ Moore, taught his son to do a layup.
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