Malzahn, Saban react to recent death of George Floyd

Updated: Jun. 3, 2020 at 3:13 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Auburn head football coach and Alabama head football coach Nick Saban are two of the latest college coaches to make a statement in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Tuesday in a Zoom press conference with media, Malzahn said the recent events that have taken place in the United States have effected him.

“I’ve had a heavy heart the last few weeks after watching the recent racial injustices on video. Most recently George Floyd, which is completely unacceptable and inhumane," said Malzahn.

Malzahn said he didn’t really know how to respond, so instead of speaking, Malzahn said he took the time to listen to his players and coaches. He said it was impactful.

“I asked them to share their heart and their feelings with me and they did. It was very emotional, it was very heartfelt and there were some tears with both groups,” said Malzahn. "Bottom line is I’ve got a team and a staff that’s hurtin’. I think they’re frustrated and in some cases they’re scared and that breaks my heart.

So, what Malzahn gained from listening?

“This has given me really a new perspective. I wish I would’ve asked deeper questions sooner or before,” said Malzahn. “These are not just Auburn football players and coaches, they’re a part of the Auburn family and we’re here to help them be leaders for tomorrow.”

Malzahn also told his team he’s committed to positive change as a leader, although he’s not quite sure what that looks like right now. He says he’s going to listen and learn.

Saban issued a statement Sunday in which addressed Floyd’s death, and also the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

“I am shocked and angered by the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery,” said Saban. “We’re at an important moment for our country, and now is the time for us to choose kindness, tolerance, understadning, empathy, and most’s time to love each other.”

Later on in his statement, Saban called for unity in eliminating injustice.

“We are all part of this and we must banish these types of injustices in not just our country but our world,” said Saban.

You can read his full statement below:

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