“We are tired of not being heard, respected or treated as equal,” said Avadney Gerard-Osbourne, a senior on the UNM women’s soccer team.
More than 100 student-athletes showed up at The Pit Friday and contributed to a piece of chalk art, which says “End Racism + Inequality.”
“I wholeheartedly believe that we are going to make a difference,” Gerard-Osbourne said.
UNM football player Teton Saltes said it’s time for people to fight for those who don’t have a voice. He said student-athletes will lead the way.
“Everybody is here and everybody is represented,” he said. “It feels like unity, it feels like power, it feels like what America is supposed to be.”
Office from the Albuquerque Police Department and UNM officials showed solidarity with the students, who were still reeling from the comments made by former UNM football player Brian Urlacher.
He was critical of the NBA boycott over police brutality.
Current UNM football players released a statement condemning Urlacher’s comments. UNM Athletics Director Eddie Nuñez echoed their feelings.
“For us, that’s not a representation of who we are, or our department, our student-athletes, and we stand with our student athletes trying to find a way to overcome social injustices and racism,” he said.
UNM faculty said they’ve created a student committee, had town halls to listen to student concerns and have efforted voting initiatives to help the student-athletes bring change.