Michigan State basketball head coach Tom Izzo is one of the most visible figures in college basketball. With his success with the Spartans over the last 25 years, the Hall of Fame head coach has earned plenty of respect throughout the country for his on-court achievements, and has a platform to match.
With the protests that have taken hold across America for the past four weeks following the killing of George Floyd, Izzo has now said that the Minneapolis man's death has helped him to open his eyes about the bigger picture in the country with respect to racism and police brutality. As he told Detroit sports radio station 97.1 The Ticket, he now has an understanding as to Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protests in the NFL back in 2016.
“[A]s I look back on it, how ignorant am I? Because that was a peaceful protest,” Izzo said. "Listen, I learn lessons too. And, I’m still learning at this age."
The 65-year-old Spartans coach said that after being “sickened” following Floyd’s death, he had no option but to change how he previously viewed peaceful disobedience from athletes.
At first, Izzo was opposed to his Spartan players following suit with these protests. With the ability to conceptualize why it was happening in the first place, Izzo has now had a change of heart. With America’s current situation regarding racial injustice, the MSU boss is now able to see a bigger picture at a crucial time.