DrSaturday- Four-star 2018 defensive end recruit Tyreke Smith attended Ohio State’s one-day camp Saturday with an offer from the Buckeyes already in hand.
With little more to prove to the college football programs on the field — he has an offer from essentially every powerhouse in America — it was what he wore while participating that grabbed headlines.
“I decided to wear the shirt because I wanted to bring attention to the epidemic of blacks being killed at an alarming rate,” Tyreke told Ohio State site Eleven Warriors. “What we would like to do is have people talk about these issues to reduce the murder rate of African-Americans.”
“The shirt was created to bring light into the everyday problems that blacks face between police and black-on-black crimes,” Malik told Eleven Warriors. “The shirt exemplifies a voice that we have but may not be heard. So why not have people see it?
“We need to come together as a unit and stop coming after our own people,” he added. “We have to work together.” He also tweeted out support for his younger brother.
Tyreke pointed to “a lack of parenting, community policing and valuing education” as issues that surround crime, and he took time to thank his own family, coaches and teachers for their positive impact on him.
I don't really feel all that compelled to discuss - in detail - the actual message here. Regardless of how often you think fatal police interactions are racially motivated, I think we can all agree that African Americans definitely shouldn't have to aspire to stay alive despite their skin color. I can't possibly relate to how hopeless black people must feel as officer after officer has walked free of conviction - often with blood of their own firmly on the hands of those compensated to protect them. However, I can certainly understand why they feel threatened enough to promote a cause that seems to simply read as a plea for a human right as basic as equal treatment under the law. What Tyreke Smith said with his chest is an indisputable sign of the growing level of concern in his community, and it uses a little bit of shock value to paint a disheartening picture that every person should feel inclined to study as free from bias as possible.
That said, how about the balls on this kid to show up to Ohio State wearing that shirt? I know there are kids with varying levels of skill that these camps, but you have to be supremely confident that you'll be a sack machine at the next level to believe that you have "I can make a fairly aggressive racial statement before I'm enrolled and no one is going to say shit" talent. Let's put it this way...there are no two star linebackers that are still waiting on an offer showing up to a powerhouse program with what can unfortunately be considered a polarizing prayer for equality emboldened across their shirt. The message is powerful, but apparently so is the teenage messenger that knows he's easily good enough to get away with potentially stepping on some toes.