South Carolina coach Frank Martin releases statement, asks for confederate flag removal

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On Sunday, South Carolina head coach Frank Martin released a lengthy statement on twitter regarding the controversy in his university’s state regarding the confederate flag.

Last week, nine African-Americans were gunned down in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in a racially motivated attack. Since the tragedy, there has been an increased effort by people within the state and around the country to have the confederate flag removed from important locales in South Carolina, which includes the capitol.

Here is Martin’s statement in full:

“I stand with our Governor, Nikki Haley, with our Mayor Steve Benjamin, with our school president Harris Pastides, with our Athletic Director Ray Tanner, with Coach Spurrier, Coach Staley and all other University of South Carolina coaches and state leaders that have spoken in calling for the removal of the confederate flag from the statehouse grounds.”

“As a first generation American and a son of Cuban immigrants who came to this country in search of freedom; as the husband to another first generation American whose parents immigrated from Jamaica in search of a better life; as the father to three beautiful children who embody the splendor of diversity and as a life-long advocate and teacher to countless inner city kids and disadvantaged youths, I ask our state leaders to do away with those antiquated symbols that represent hate and oppression to so many people. While I fully understand that the Confederate Flag also represents the history of our state, I believe that it should be displayed at a museum and not at a public place which represents ALL the members of our incredible state.”

“The people of South Carolina have welcomed my family and me with open arms and with such warmth that there is no place on earth that I rather live. It is that kindness and love that are truly representative of our state. In the last three years my family and I have had nothing but great experiences in this great state of because of its caring and loving people.”

“My path through the years as a basketball coach has taken me to many African-American, Hispanic and other minorities’ homes. It’s been in those visits, in the eyes of parents who simply hope for a better life for their children and whose faith in God is at times their only refuge, that I am reminded how alike we all are. It is in those similarities — love for our families, respect for each other and sacrifice for our loved ones — that we much forge our future.”