CHAMPAIGN — Just two Illinois football players opted to speak outside the Champaign Police Department during last month’s athlete-organized peaceful protest and march against racial and social injustice.
That Nate Hobbs was one of them, following fellow senior Kendall Smith, shouldn’t have been a surprise. The Louisville, Ky., native saw firsthand how powerful a moment a peaceful protest could be. It’s why he marched in Louisville after Breonna Taylor’s death last March at the hands of the Louisville police.
Hobbs was also out in front during the march in Champaign leading his team and other Illinois athletes and coaches. The shirt he wore spoke to the heart of the reason he was there.
“We march, ya’ll mad,” Hobbs’ shirt that day read.
“We sit down, ya’ll mad.
“We speak up, ya’ll mad.
“We die, ya’ll silent.”