Minnesota United midfielder Jacori Hayes has been outspoken since George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis. He’s penned a personal essay and even appeared on The Call Up to discuss issues of racism and inequality.
Hayes continues to make his voice heard, recently visiting where Floyd’s last steps were. He recounted the experience during a Pioneer Press article.
“I ended up staying one or two minutes and walked away,” Hayes said. “I have mixed feelings about going down there just because I saw him die. Part of me didn’t want to make it feel like a tourist event, like I’m going down there to take photos and say, ‘Yeah, I went there.’ Personally, I didn’t want to be insensitive.”
Feature: #Loons midfielder Jacori Hayes was reluctant to speak about racial injustices after seeing Colin Kaepernick be "blackballed" by the NFL.— Andy Greder (@andygreder) June 12, 2020
But in wake of #GeorgeFloyd's death, he penned an essay to help others not feel as "lonely" and "confused.”https://t.co/lyh7vUOK9S
Hayes also pointed to ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and how some ridiculed him protesting by kneeling during the national anthem. That national discourse created pause, Hayes said, but now a spark’s occurred that makes him more outspoken.
“We all know what happened with Colin Kaepernick, and you feel like maybe it’s not the time or place,” Hayes said. “You don’t want to jeopardize your own personal career doing it. That has always been in the back of my mind. At some point, it’s got to be enough is enough. It’s bigger than soccer or a personal career; it’s about helping out other people.”