Football Recruit Draws National Attention With T-Shirt

Published On June 23, 2017 | By sgrey | College Sports, Latest posts

By Dr. Sinclair N. Grey III

Just about every high school football player dreams about playing in the NFL. Because of the hype surrounding professional athletes, it’s easy for many kids in high school to aspire to a lofty goal. Let’s face it – some of the nation’s best high school football players have trained and prepared for most of their short-lived lives to have an opportunity to play on the big stage. All of the training and preparation is helping many get ready to make the leap from high school to college.

While many high school football players are hoping to be recruited by a major football program, it goes without saying that many of our young African-American males are hoping not to get shot and killed by the police. Sadly and shamefully, too many of our young men are losing their lives to police officers and it doesn’t seem as though the legal system is doing anything about it. When police officers are being found not guilty for killing unarmed Black men, we have a problem.

During a recruiting visit to The Ohio State University, high school junior, Tyreke Smith, a four-star defensive end from Cleveland Heights High School showed up wearing a T-shirt that got the attention of the world.

The T-shirt Smith was wearing read, ‘I Hope I Don’t Get Killed For Being Black Today.’

According to an article in The Root, “Tyreke says that he knew he’d be photographed during his visit. “I decided to wear the shirt because I wanted to bring attention to the epidemic of blacks being killed at an alarming rate,” Tyreke told reporters. “What we would like to do is have people talk about these issues to reduce the murder rate of African Americans.”

Smith’s action definitely drew attention to his stance on social justice, not just his football skills. Who knows what impact this will have on other programs recruiting this top state of Ohio athlete.


Dr. Sinclair N. Grey III is a speaker, author, and success coach. Contact him at or on Twitter

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