San Jose State University athletes organize Black Lives Matter solidarity walk

Dustin Dorsey Image
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
SJSU athletes organize Black Lives Matter solidarity walk
Led by the San Jose State football team, Spartan athletes participated in a walk to show unity and solidarity to each other and the Black Lives Matter movement as protests for social justice continue across the country.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Athletes continue to use their platform to call for social justice and that is happening here in the Bay Area.

On Tuesday, San Jose State University athletes organized a walk of solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement.

At the feet of social justice history, San Jose State Spartan athletes took their own steps towards change.

RELATED: Bay Area sports teams react to Jacob Blake shooting, postponement of games

"This is 100% student-athlete led," SJSU Football's Jordan Cobbs said. "That's something that we preach a lot, when you want to do something, go do it. The fact that we are practicing what we preach is just leading by example and being a good role model for other people."

After members of the SJSU volleyball team organized a small gathering of athletes and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement, the football team wanted to see it grow.

Cobbs, along with Andrew Jenkins and Christian Webb worked with SJSU Football Head Coach Brent Brennan and Athletic Director Marie Tuite to create a day for all Spartan athletes to promote change.

Softball, baseball, track and field athletes and more walked together from the John Carlos and Tommie Smith statues on campus to San Jose City Hall and back.

Their goal? To stand together as one and show they will not stick to sports.

"This is the most that I've seen these athletes come together for something like this and it put a lot of warmth in my heart," SJSU Track and Field's Diamond Tabron said. "The fact that they were able to come out here, march with us and promote this movement meant a lot."

"We are people like you, myself and anyone else," SJSU Football's Andrew Jenkins said. "Sports is just something that we grew to love. This is a huge building block for change. To see so many people come out and know that they are supporting us, I think that it is a huge stepping stone for San Jose State University and the athletics department to move and promote change."

RELATED: San Jose nonprofit, HERO Tent, offers water, food, supplies to BLM protesters across Bay Area

Current and former Spartans spoke to the crowd of hundreds about the change they want to see in the world.

SJSU Basketball's Caleb Simmons gave a passionate speech about standing up for what you know is right, much like SJSU legends John Carlos and Tommie Smith once did.

"They symbolize everything that we need to do. If we don't appreciate their efforts in our everyday existence here in this university, we're already lost. Change is happening. Change is happening right here at this university with me, with the good people that I have worked with and change is happening with you, the viewer. Don't just let anything slide. Impact someone's life. Don't exist, be somebody."

While division can be highlighted in times of change, SJSU athletics showed their community that they are Spartan Strong together.

"I think that it's beautiful how if we come together as a community, we can change our nation. We can change our country. We can change our county. We can change our city. But we have to come together first."