Texas State student athletes and staff gathered together with San Marcos police officers on campus on Wednesday, June 10 for a unity march in response to the recent nationwide protests against police brutality.
The mile walk began at the J.C. Kellam Building on University Drive and ended inside Bobcat Stadium. Participants sat in the stands of the vacant field as multiple members of SMPD spoke in front of the crowd.
Hays County Precinct 1 Constable David Peterson affirmed the police department stands in unity with each and every person at the gathering. Peterson emphasized the leadership within the community will continuously aid the city of San Marcos.
“I care about each and every one of you,” Peterson said. “You’re very important to this city, this county. It’s important that we hear from you, thank you for doing this.”
Bobcats senior linebacker Gavin Graham walked down to the turf to give a speech following the words from local law enforcement. Graham highlighted the meaning of the walk is to gather as a community during these difficult times.
“We must continue to recognize this is not black versus white, black versus the police. This is good versus evil,” Graham said. “Today is a day of change.”
Graham introduced the idea of the unity march to head coach Jake Spavital in hopes to help take a step in the right direction as a society. Graham, along with Spavital, inside linebacker coach Archie McDaniel and teammates Caeveon Patton and Brady McBride, spoke with local law enforcement prior to the march in seeking true development towards equality and social justice for all.
“We can’t let all the work we have done over the last couple weeks and centuries before us fall upon deaf ears and fade into the abyss until the next unlawful death of a black man is caught on camera,” Graham said.
Graham’s powerful speech demanded that local police hold themselves and coworkers to the highest standard to build a law enforcement system built on “good morals, respect and zero tolerance for unlawful acts.”
The senior from Austin concluded his powerful speech with a quote by Malcolm X, an excerpt tattooed onto Graham: “There’s no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”
Featured image by Josh Orozco.