SAN ANTONIO — Note: This is the fifth in a seven-part series of conversations with Black San Antonio-area high school coaches and their wives about race in America, the impact of local protests nationwide and what they expect going forward.
Part 1, about the impact of recent events on their own lives, can be seen here. Part 2, about the use of racial slurs by white people, can be viewed here. Part 3, about growing up Black in America, can be viewed here. Part 4, on confronting racism, can be seen here.
This conversation looked at the coaches responsibility to have conversations with their student athletes about what’s been happening in the country.
"You coach white kids, black kids, and Hispanic kids. What are you going to tell them about what is happening in America these days?"
"I think it is a conversation we must have," said Memorial Minutemen Head Coach Kemmie Lewis. "We have to discuss it because I don’t want my kids to leave here and go be a part of the negative press, so I think the education piece on what it is to be different, because we are all different."
"We all in a sense are minorities to some point, and how does that look for you? What are my challenges, and how can I help you grow? How can I help you diffuse any problems that you have? The conversation is not about the black man, or me being the black coach, it’s about me educating you, and lets work together to change the world because it is not gonna take one person. It is gonna take all of us," Coach Lewis said.
"I’ve spent time in our summer training right at the beginning," said Stevens Falcons Head Coach Anthony Boykin.
"The first thing I challenged them to do is to love one another. I told them look to the left and right of you. You are commanded in the Bible to love your neighbor as yourself. So how would you treat your neighbor? Do the same service that you would treat yourself. If we just operate on that principle alone they’ll have an opportunity to make change in their community, and therefore make change in the world," said Boykin.
"If you go in a football locker room, and you see how those kids interact you would think that everybody in there looked the same," said Judson Rockets Head Coach Rodney Williams.
"We call it the brotherhood here at Judson High School. It is real, and those guys don’t care. All they care about is that you have that Diamond J, and whether you are big, tall, short, white, black, heavyset, Hispanic, whatever, once you come together, and if we could just get the world to understand the locker room perspective, and not that is gonna happen overnight, but if we can start taking those strides somebody is gonna get to the point where eventually they say no, no, no, yes, and then we can start moving in the right direction," said Williams.
Watch our seven-part series - Local Coaches on Race in America:
- 'Now is our time in history where we have an opportunity to make a change' | Local coaches on race in America, Part 1
- 'I don’t think there is any Black man in America who has not experienced that' | Local coaches on race in America, Part 2
- 'I’m going to do what I’m supposed to do in terms of (being) a Black man in America' | Local coaches on race in America, Part 3
- 'When you know yourself, you can rise above anything' | Local coaches on race in America, Part 4
- 'It is gonna take all of us' | Local coaches on race in America, Part 5
- 'There’s a glass ceiling that has been there for years' | Local coaches on race in America, Part 6
- ‘The only way you can get over some of the stereotypes is to talk’ | Local coaches on race in America, Part 7