Cleveland Heights four-star defensive end Tyreke Smith didn’t have much to prove during Ohio State’s one-day camp on Saturday, as he’s already one of the most sought-after prospects in the country. In addition to holding an offer from the Buckeyes, programs such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, UCLA and USC are pulling out all the stops to get him to commit.
Smith showed up anyway, and used the camp as an opportunity to mingle with Ohio State commits — and potentially his future teammates — Emory Jones, Jaelen Gill and Dallas Gant. He also spent a significant amount of time with defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who pulled him to the side for some one-on-one instruction.
But none of that was the talk of the camp. Instead, it was Smith’s shirt that grabbed everyone’s attention.
“I hope I don’t get killed for being black today.”
That’s a powerful message from a 17-year-old kid who shouldn’t even have to worry about losing his life, but that’s also a reality for so many young African-Americans across the country. Smith lives in a county that saw a state-high 168 homicides last year, and he wants to use his platform as a star athlete to make a positive impact on his community.
“I decided to wear the shirt because I wanted to bring attention to the epidemic of blacks being killed at an alarming rate,” Smith said. “What we would like to do is have people talk about these issues to reduce the murder rate of African-Americans.”
Now before you rush to judgment, understand that Smith isn’t just talking about the Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice and other examples of police brutality that seemingly dominate headline news. He’s also talking about the black-on-black crime that is destroying his city brick by brick.
Read the rest at: Killed Today