CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCCU/WICS/WRSP) - The Illini were supposed to begin football practice on Monday, but offensive lineman Kendrick Green opted to organize an athlete-led march through Champaign instead.
Hundreds of athletes, students, coaches, and people from the community marched from Memorial Stadium to the Champaign Police Department, where they kneeled during a moment of silence.
Last week, Illinois basketball player Kofi Cockburn spoke about empathy and putting yourself in someone else's shoes. Wide receiver Trevon Sidney shared a story about how he felt being pulled over for a broken tail light last week, one that echoed Cockburn's message that many people should take a moment to listen, and put themselves in another's place.
"I think one thing people don't get is being pulled over by the police, you shouldn't be scared for your life," Sidney said. "My heart shouldn't drop to the bottom of my seat thinking, 'I could die right now. This could be my last moment.'"
"You shouldn't be thinking, 'Ok. Let me keep my hands on the steering wheel, let me turn off the car, let me not make any movements.' I have tattoos, I'm listening to music, my car is bumping loud music, so cops could be thinking anything. It just sucks that because of our culture, the way we walk, the way we dress, the way we talk, we're just seen as different. We're seen as less than and that just needs to change.