Marrero, Lunsford and more speak out against death of George Floyd

Andy Cole

Editor’s Note: This article contains quotes from tweets. They were dictated directly from Twitter. The use of all caps and exclamation marks were added by the tweet’s author, not The George-Anne.

STATESORO — Following the death of George Floyd, numerous Georgia Southern officials have released statements condemning violence and some promising change. 

“My heart is heavy with this somber reminder of the senseless death and violence that impact so many members of our Georgia Southern family,” said GS President Kyle Marrero in an email to students. “While we can continue to make statements that condemn such actions, we must take measures to stand up for our shared values, and for one another.”

The full email, sent to students, can be found below.

TaJuan Wilson, Ed.D, associate vice president for inclusive excellence, applauds the message and signaled change happening soon.

“Our leadership team understands that Inclusive Excellence is imperative to our overall success as an institution,” Wilson said in a text to The George-Anne. “This summer we will introduce our comprehensive inclusive excellence action plan.”

Wilson added that this is the first of its kind at GS and each college and administrative unit will also be responsible for creating their own unique plan. The plans will be reviewed annually. 

Only hours after Wilson’s office sent an email to the campus community, the athletic department, headed by Jared Benko, issued a statement via Twitter.

“Every Eagle Nation member has an obligation to promote Inclusive Excellence,” the statement said. “As an athletic department, we are committed to a welcoming environment, and we continue to strive to be part of the solution.”

The statement went on to quote the late GS head football coach Erk Russell, “Do right,” adding that there’s no better time than now to act in that way. 

The full tweet can be found below. 

{{tncms-inline account=”Georgia Southern Athletics” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A statement from Georgia Southern Athletics. <a href="https://t.co/gltjXS8RqJ">pic.twitter.com/gltjXS8RqJ</a></p>— Georgia Southern Athletics (@GSAthletics) <a href="https://twitter.com/GSAthletics/status/1267226349137166337?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 31, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/GSAthletics/status/1267226349137166337″ type=”twitter”}}

Head football coach Chad Lunsford tweeted Friday, “Love is something we all want & should always try to give to others.” Adding, “The desire to Hate/Kill for whatever reason makes absolutely NO sense!”

Lunsford also include the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #CoachesStandForJustice and included an image with a Bible verse on it. 

Lunsford’s full tweet can be found below. 

{{tncms-inline account=”Coach Chad Lunsford” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Love is something we all want & should always try to give to others…Our own selfishness often times gets in the way and we screw it up!HOWEVER, the desire to Hate/Kill for whatever reason makes absolute NO sense! Do Right! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackLivesMatter?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackLivesMatter</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CoachesStandforJustice?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CoachesStandforJustice</a> <a href="https://t.co/lteO03lFdP">pic.twitter.com/lteO03lFdP</a></p>— Coach Chad Lunsford (@chadlunsford) <a href="https://twitter.com/chadlunsford/status/1266503422565482496?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 29, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/chadlunsford/status/1266503422565482496″ type=”twitter”}}

Kim Dean, head softball coach, is the latest to respond, tweeting Monday at 6:22 p.m.

“I will never fully understand the day to day struggles the black community faces,” Dean tweeted. “My heart aches. We HAVE to do better.”

Dean’s tweet can be found below.

{{tncms-inline account=”Kim” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/bQ9DhQX9Xg">https://t.co/bQ9DhQX9Xg</a> <a href="https://t.co/rOirVMiIEw">pic.twitter.com/rOirVMiIEw</a></p>— Kim (@deanofsoftball5) <a href="https://twitter.com/deanofsoftball5/status/1267582321655504898?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 1, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/deanofsoftball5/status/1267582321655504898″ type=”twitter”}}

Marrero was the only official to mention Floyd directly in his statement.

It is unclear if any other university official or faculty made statements via Twitter or other outlets.

Andy Cole, Managing Editor for News Coverage, [email protected]