Simone Manuel Lends Voice to Calls for Change after George Floyd Killing

Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel joined the chorus of voices calling for change in the aftermath of the killing of 46-year-old unarmed man George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer this week.

Manuel, along with only a small handful of professional swimmers, took to social media to voice her reaction to the killing, which is the latest in a growing list of black men, arrested for minor crimes, who have died while in police custody. In particular, his death is being compared to that of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold by an officer during a 2014 arrest in Staten Island.

Floyd was arrested last Monday after he allegedly used a counterfeit bill at a convenience store, and died as officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck while at three others were present. Bystander video of the scene went viral, and the killing has set off protests demanding action in cities around the country over the last few days.

All officers who were present have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, and Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Manuel posted the following on Instagram:

“Days feel heavy and long. It’s hard not to feel or think about the sadness and hatred that weighs heavily on me, my people, and this nation. I’m hurt. I’m tired. We’re hurt. We’re tired. I think it’s always hard to find the right words as they are as scattered and divided as this country. There’s too much to say, but not nearly enough time or energy to express this sad reality. We’re not all in this together!! How far have we really come? Times change. Calendar dates change, but racism still remains. If we want a better country, we ALL must fight for equality and justice. No one escapes the bonds of injustice. No one! It doesn’t matter what side you’re on. We all lose when we fail to address the root of the problem. Here goes: •


THE PAST STILL LIVES IN THE PRESENT!
This is generational.
It’s not just about death.
It’s about killing our spirits.
It’s about killing our dreams.
It’s about making us feel less than.
It’s about dismissing and ignoring our pain.
It’s about silencing our voice.
It’s about punishing us when we use our voice and labeling us as “angry” or a “threat” rather than acknowledging we’re exercising our “freedom of speech.”
It’s about calling the police and using my skin color against me.
It’s about clinching your purse.
It’s about believing we don’t belong.
It’s about failing to acknowledge and understand my very existence, my pain.
It’s about repeating the sins of the past.
It’s about thinking that skin color affords ones privileges or denies basic human dignity!
It’s about speaking against instead of with our fight for justice.
It’s about remaining silent.
This needs to be everybody’s fight! •


The words “freedom”, “justice,” and “equality” are uttered by many, BUT do we really experience it? No! We have yet to experience it collectively as a nation, and we won’t until we all come together and fight for it… until we’re actually “all in this together.” •


If this makes you uncomfortable, check your privilege. Think of those who lack comfort EVERY👏🏾SINGLE👏🏾DAY👏🏾”

View this post on Instagram

Days feel heavy and long. It’s hard not to feel or think about the sadness and hatred that weighs heavily on me, my people, and this nation. I’m hurt. I’m tired. We’re hurt. We’re tired. I think it’s always hard to find the right words as they are as scattered and divided as this country. There’s too much to say, but not nearly enough time or energy to express this sad reality. We’re not all in this together!! How far have we really come? Times change. Calendar dates change, but racism still remains. If we want a better country, we ALL must fight for equality and justice. No one escapes the bonds of injustice. No one! It doesn’t matter what side you’re on. We all lose when we fail to address the root of the problem. Here goes: • • • THE PAST STILL LIVES IN THE PRESENT! This is generational. It’s not just about death. It’s about killing our spirits. It’s about killing our dreams. It’s about making us feel less than. It’s about dismissing and ignoring our pain. It’s about silencing our voice. It’s about punishing us when we use our voice and labeling us as “angry” or a “threat” rather than acknowledging we’re exercising our “freedom of speech.” It’s about calling the police and using my skin color against me. It’s about clinching your purse. It’s about believing we don’t belong. It’s about failing to acknowledge and understand my very existence, my pain. It’s about repeating the sins of the past. It’s about thinking that skin color affords ones privileges or denies basic human dignity! It’s about speaking against instead of with our fight for justice. It’s about remaining silent. This needs to be everybody’s fight! • • • The words “freedom”, “justice,” and “equality” are uttered by many, BUT do we really experience it? No! We have yet to experience it collectively as a nation, and we won’t until we all come together and fight for it… until we’re actually “all in this together.” • • • If this makes you uncomfortable, check your privilege. Think of those who lack comfort EVERY👏🏾SINGLE👏🏾 DAY👏🏾

A post shared by Simone Manuel (@swimone) on

Manuel, 23, became the first black woman to win an individual Olympic medal when she won the 100 free in Rio four years ago. Throughout her career, she’s often spoken on issues regarding race, and in 2016 told the New York Times that she “carries the weight of the black community” with her, but hopes one day not to be known as “Simone the black swimmer.”

Manuel is joined by U.S. National Team member Natalie Hinds and fellow Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky in commenting publicly on the situation.

Hinds – via the LEAD Sports Summit Instagram, which said that members of the LEAD team will be donating to “organizations that are actively working to improve our communities by fighting racism” – said, “It’s my duty to provoke change. Even if it’s one person and spread from there.”

In a message shared on multiple of her social media accounts, Ledecky wrote, in part: “To my teammates, friends and community: I am here for you. I am here to listen and to comfort. I am here to engage in uncomfortable conversations. And I am here to vote.”

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Wuhan Jimmy

If 2020 keeps it up, it may surpass 1968 as the all-time chaotic weird year in recent memory. We’ve still got seven months left. 1968: — 539,000 American troops in Vietnam (Jan) — Surprise Tet offensive by Viet Cong causing US media to say war is “not winnable” (Jan) — LBJ shocks nation by withdrawing from presidential race (Mar) — Martin Luther King assassinated causing five days of race riots and burning throughout many cities (Apr) — Robert Kennedy assassinated after winning California presidential primary (Jun) — Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact forces invade Czechoslovakia to quell “Prague Spring” (Aug) — Chicago Democratic Convention erupts in chaos as protesters/rioters fight with Mayor Daley’s police (Aug) — “Hong Kong Flu” arrives… Read more »

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT

And how exactly does Nixon winning the presidency compare to the others on that list?

Wuhan Jimmy

I overlooked this Olympic occurrence: on Oct 2, 1968, several weeks prior to opening of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Mexican police and paramilitary forces massacred 300-400 (low est.) students, teachers, and sympathizers who’d been demonstrating against the Olympics (declaring the money spent on them should’ve been used to fight poverty). Known as the Tlatelolco massacre. Cast a pall over the ‘68 Olympics.

Take it off

This comment should be removed. This user name is blatantly racist and perpetuates racist undertones. It’s highly ignorant topic being discussed. Swim swam you have lost a reader.

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT

His posts also have absolutely nothing to do with what the swimmers were posting. Clearly just bored.

IM FAN

How is it racist? Wuhan is a city, Jimmy is just a name. If someone was posting under the name New York Sally, would that be racist? Yes it’s very likely that they are referencing Wuhan due to the cities connection to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and subsequent pandemic, and so what? You’re actually demanding swimswam censor someone’s opinion because you disagree with it and are offended by it? If you disagree then downvote it and if you fell inclined offer a rebuttal.

Grow a spine.

Corn Pop

Yes all that but the music & fashions & movies were great . The big thing was how slim everyone was . Except for the nylon Speedo straps , Good Times!

Johnson

Excellent expression, we should All be working in harmony, not fighting.
No one.
We all most open our minds even Black people should show more respect towards One another.
Swimming Will be More Open for all race Creed to learn how to be manner to each other..stop The anger.
& Love your fellow man & woman & neighbor

PsychoDad

>stop The anger

“What the f… do white people have to be angry about? Banana Republic ran out of khakis? Huh? The espresso machine is jammed?”
George Carlin

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT

Username checks out.

Your smartass post isn’t helping anything or anyone.

JustAFan

Yikes.

Who

Rioters killing innocent white people and being blamed for things that they didn’t have anything to do with? The fault of one white cop isn’t the fault of all white people, and burning down buildings and destroying property IS NOT going to earn ANYONE any respect.

Oldmanswimmer

One white cop, are you serious? What about the other three white cops who stood there watching? What about the many many other instances? Your comment reeks of white privilege and bigotry. Shame.

B Bruner

Thank you, Simone!

PsychoDad

It is time for slavery reparations. While Native Americans, interned Japanese Americans, and Jews (for the Holocaust), all received reparations, Black Americans are the only group that has not received reparations for state-sanctioned racial discrimination. It is time to do that. If you are against that from selfish or racist reasons, do it for your children. White people will be in minority in 25 people and what do you think will happen then if we continue with this?

PsychoDad

Well, obviously that is in 25 years, not in 25 people 🙂 It has been a long day.

Tomek

I guess we will live in paradise 25 years from now….

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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