LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - I wish I could come to you with the normal smile and energy I usually have, but frankly I can't.
First, I have to report about the death of former Indiana University football player Chris Beaty. He was gunned down during violence that erupted in his hometown of Indianapolis during protesting. Beaty, 38, was a beloved man who had friend and connections to Louisville including with local businessman Joey Wagner.
In these trying times, it's tough to be positive and upbeat, but as I sit back and try to find the positives, I'm finding great joy in things that are happening in the sports community. Powerful and uplifting messages from the UofL program, including Chris Mack and Scott Satterfield who a good number of their players come from the very neighborhoods where a lot of the violence happens. To John Calipari who postponed his "Coffee with Cal" show to focus on bigger matters.
"For those reasons, I'm going to put a temporary hold on our Coffee with Cal episode tomorrow, and take a moment of silence," Calipari said. "We all should in remembrance of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others who have died without reason."
I did a Zoom interview with former Card, Russ Smith, on Sunday. He was at the protest downtown on Thursday night and was protesting peacefully when shots rang out. Russ told me why it was so important for him to show his support to the Breonna Taylor family.
"I did feel like I had to do my part in showing up, and being there being supportive," Smith said. "That's the most important thing that my voice was heard, and that I was there."
And there's IU. They will have a Zoom meeting this week with all interested student-athletes to talk about their experiences and perspectives on George Floyd's death among other things.
Honestly, I feel the same way that most of us in this community feel. I'm mad. I'm upset. I'm scared. But I'm also thankful that those in the athletic community are not going to just shut up and dribble, and help lead the way to positive change.
I pray that us as Americans - black, white, Latino, whatever - come together. Listen to each other. America, it’s time to finally have that conversation we’ve been running from for decades. It’s time to love thy neighbor.
My prayers go out to all of those families who have been touched by senseless violence, and of course, the COVID 19 pandemic.
Be safe out there. Peace.