Nebraska men’s basketball head coach Fred Hoiberg made a statement via Twitter on Saturday evening addressing the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died in police custody on May 25. As video of the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death circulated on social media, protests erupted nationwide.
These protests originated and escalated in Minneapolis, the city where Hoiberg spent his final years of professional basketball with the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2003-2005 before retiring and taking a front office position with the team.
“Minneapolis holds a special place in my heart,” Hoiberg said in a Twitter post. “I pray that this beautiful city can rise above the hate and serve as a national role model for making positive, meaningful change in this country.”
Hoiberg worked as an executive for the Timberwolves until 2010, when he accepted the head coaching position at Iowa State University. In the aftermath of Floyd’s passing, Hoiberg said he will hold a team meeting when student-athletes return to campus in early June to “come together and make positive change.”
He also expressed the fact that as a head coach at the collegiate level, he has a duty to support and uplift his players.
“As the head coach of incredible young black men, I know I have a job to do to help them grow on and off the court,” Hoiberg said. “We all have a role in this and for me, I plan on doing whatever I possibly can to protect and support my players through these tragic and sad times.”
As of May 30, Hoiberg is the only Husker head coach to directly address Floyd’s passing with a statement. Nebraska football head coach Scott Frost retweeted a post from former NFL coach Tony Dungy and Nebraska softball head coach Rhonda Revelle retweeted a statement from university president Ted Carter regarding the situation.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green also expressed his disdain for the injustices taking place in Minneapolis in a series of Tweets on May 30. Among other things, Green said that people like himself that are in charge of institutions “must stay committed to truly listening, truly learning and to understanding our own biases.”
Hoiberg concluded his post by offering his support for the Floyd family and all other victims of violence.
“I pray for George Floyd, his family, and all the innocent lives that have been taken away by senseless acts,” Hoiberg said. “I pray that we can all come together and be better from this.”