On Sunday, Texas Tech hosted the “Red Raiders United Walk” that was developed by members of the Tech football organization to exemplify the need for change in the wake of racial tensions in America.
The event included widespread attendance from all corners of the Tech community, and more specifically, Tech Athletics programs such as the men’s football team, men’s basketball team, women’s basketball team and soccer team.
The 30-minute walk around Tech’s campus reached farther than simply promoting a message.
“This walk makes a statement about how athletes support one another,” Tech President Lawrence Schovanec said. “But also, how we support them and feel about the deeper issues of racial injustice.”
With combined efforts from Schovanec, Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt and members of the Tech football team, what was once an idea was put into action. An integral part of the event’s development was Tech football sophomore Tony Bradford Jr., who helped organize and lead the march around campus.
“Thankfully, our coaching staff supports us 100 percent," Bradford Jr. said. “There is no better feeling than when our coaches, athletic directors and president are telling us that whatever we want to do, they will have our back.”
As racial injustice remains a trending topic in American news, the support in hopes of change from coaches, University officials and athletic program directors is a reflection of an image that Tech wants to portray.
Athletic programs on campus have gone above and beyond to voice their stances on community togetherness and equality. In fact, numerous programs created t-shirts that included multi-colored logos that promoted equality regardless of racial background.
Tech football head coach Matt Wells explained the importance of togetherness prior to the march.
“Change is a conversation that we need to have now,” Wells said. “No matter where we came from, our backgrounds, or how we were raised, we must stand together.”
Wells said he personally made the walk to support everybody, and would continue to fight for equality not only on campus but in the world.
Although the walk ultimately came down to racial injustice, everyone that was part of the walk had a specific reason for why they walked. For Bradford Jr., it was to be the voice of compliance between police and minorities.
“It was a risk to tell my friends and family that have zero tolerance for police officers to all come together, but I explained to them that all change starts from somewhere, and we need to all be on the same page for it to happen,” he said.
For Tech football senior Ja’Marcus Ingram, it was about economic and educational development within minority communities.
“I want to see the education system changed. A lot of minorities don’t know their own history and that’s a problem,” Ingram said. “From an economic standpoint, I feel like we need to be equal. I feel like black people do not have the same equality economically.”
The Red Raider community, student-athletes, coaches and offices have all come together to promote a stance that was strongly reflected in Sunday’s walk.