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Inspired by professionals, US college athletes confront police violence, racism

College athletes at a march in San Jose, California   -  
Copyright © africanews


Hundreds of student-athletes on college campuses across California are embracing a responsibility to come together and speak out about racism, inequality and police violence.

Many are taking their lead from professional athletes who have given the next generation courage to make an impact. Seeing stars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry or the U.S. women's soccer team using their voices to influence change has provided them with confidence that they can do it too, wherever they are.

Last September, San Jose State football player Christian Webb, his teammates and several other student athletes led a peaceful march from the school's main campus to City Hall. Players also organized a 5-kilometer fun run "Race for Change" to help create awareness for current issues in the community.

"There was a huge emphasis to go out and create change. We weren't just out here benching endlessly and saying, 'OK, this is what we're stuck with.' We wanted to figure out what the problem is and how we as a team can use our platform to create change," said Webb, who spoke as keynote speaker at the march.

Webb's teammate, Cade Hall, emphasized it was everyone's role to fight against injustice.

"The reason why I joined this group was not only just to educate myself, but also to educate people around me, you know," Hall said. "As a white person on a on a football team that's predominantly people of color, I felt like it was really important for me to get involved, you know, and and that was one of the most important things."

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is vocal in his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

"The young people, by being so engaged and aware of what's happening, are really setting the table for what's coming in our future," he said.