Harvard men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker joined the list of people in the sports world to make a statement following the death of George Floyd.
Amaker also took the time to address the detainment of one of his former players, Seth Towns. Towns, who left Harvard as a grad transfer to Ohio State earlier this offseason, was detained during a protest over Floyd’s death in Towns’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
“I am aware that recent graduate Seth Towns was detained last night at a rally in Columbus, Ohio,” Amaker said. “I fully support, and am proud of, Seth in his continued fight for social justice, a cause that near and dear to his heart since he arrived on campus four years ago. We, as a program, always encourage our players in their efforts to stand up for their beliefs and for what is right.”
Towns was detained briefly and was not arrested, an Ohio State spokesman told ESPN.
In a video of his detainment, which was posted by Eleven Warriors, Towns is heard saying “Say his name!” to the crowd of protestors who responded by saying “George Floyd!” The video also captured someone saying that Towns “wasn’t touching anybody” while he getting handcuffed.
Footage of Seth Towns in police custody earlier Friday at the scene of a protest in Columbus. Towns, an incoming Ohio State basketball transfer, graduated from Harvard Thursday.
Towns is no longer in police custody and is safe at home, according to a source. pic.twitter.com/kFptHH63BN
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) May 30, 2020
Towns responded to Friday’s events on Twitter.
“In a span of just 24 hours, I walked across a Harvard virtual graduation stage into the back of police van alongside other peaceful protestors—both of which I am equally proud of,” Towns said in a tweet Saturday.
In a span of just 24 hours, I walked across a Harvard virtual graduation stage into the back of police van alongside other peaceful protestors—both of which I am equally proud of. pic.twitter.com/qtvXmw0Fwq
— Seth 💤 (@seth_towns17) May 30, 2020
Amaker also offered his condolences to those affected by Floyd’s “senseless” death and called on everyone to show their support.
“I want to express my condolences and heartbreak for all of those impacted by George Floyd’s senseless death,” Amaker said. “Let’s demonstrate support and empathy for all communities impacted – specifically communities of color, and the many men and women in law enforcement who do protect and sever honorably and with respect.
“This is a very challenging time for our country. We need unity now more than ever,” Amaker added.