Statement from Dr. Jamal Bryant, Civil Rights Activist and Pastor, Regarding Racist Comments from Georgia-based Coach and Trainer Mark Taylor
Activist and Pastor, Dr. Jamal Bryant has always been a vocal advocate for our people, especially young people. He recently released a statement regarding racist comments from Georgia-based Coach and Trainer Mark Taylor.
“Like so many, I am appalled at the racist venom spewed by Georgia-based football coach and speed trainer, Mark Taylor, on private videos that have since gone viral around the world. Not only are his words vile, hateful and dangerous; his actions are a complete betrayal of the young people he has worked with and used to gain credibility in his profession.
Scores of families, mostly Black, have turned to Coach Taylor to help their sons and daughters improve their performances on the field of play and to improve their chances of earning a college scholarship or to play professionally at the next level. We now know that his work with these families was less about him wanting them to succeed and more about furthering his reputation as a credible trainer, and at the expense of these athlete’s dignity and humanity.
Coach Taylor’s reputation has been bolstered by his association with some of the top athletic programs in this country and as of today, none have publicly stepped forward to denounce his comments or to articulate the termination of their formal or informal working relationship with this dangerous man. That is inexcusable.
I call on every college and university in the state of Georgia to publicly condemn the statements of Coach Mark Taylorand to terminate their working relationship with him. This is particularly necessary from the two-time defending National Champion, University of Georgia, athletic director Josh Brooks, and head football coach, Kirby Smart, as Coach Taylor is seen in one video demonstrating his support of this football program and their success on the field.
I also call on the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) to conduct a full investigation into Coach Taylor’s actions and suspend him from formally working with high schools in our state until their investigation is completed, and a full accounting of his actions have been made public.
Georgia’s favorite son, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., famously stated that “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” These words are particularly poignant at this time and I stand with all people of good conscience to state that the silence of our academic institutions and their athletic program leadership is unacceptable, disrespectful and erodes the pride that we feel in their on-the-field success. We cannot and will not trade our dignity and respect in exchange for the pursuit of athletic success and public acclaim.”