Collison

In this UDK file photo, former Kansas men's basketball player Nick Collison is pictured.

Former Kansas men’s basketball forward Nick Collison announced Friday in a Twitter thread that he donated $20,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Collison donated the large sum to honor the memory of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and “so many other people whose lives weren’t valued because of the color of their skin.” 

Floyd, a 46-year-old Black male, died on Memorial Day after former Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, immobilized Floyd on the ground by pushing his knee into Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. The incident was captured on video and has sparked multiple protests across the United States in outrage.

Floyd’s death came only a few months after Arbery, a 25-year-old Black male, was fatally shot by a white father-son duo in Georgia while he was on a run. This incident was also caught on camera.

Collison’s comments came before Kansas Athletics personnel like men’s basketball coach Bill Self and football coach Les Miles released statements of their own

“To be out in the world every day, having to worry about whether people see you as a threat would be exhausting,” Collison said on Twitter. “To constantly have to prove that your presence is justified would be infuriating.” 

Collison continued to emphasize the importance of using his platform to encourage others to follow in his footsteps and to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. 

“If you love your country then you must love your fellow Americans that are screaming out in pain. Have conversations about these issues,” Collison said. 

Collison is just one of the many people across the nation who have donated to local bail funds, the ACLU, George Floyd’s family GoFundMe page, and the “I Run With Maud” GoFundMe page

“I am so angry and disgusted with so much of what I have seen. I’m worried about our future. I have been inactive for too long,” Collison said. “This is what I can do today. Join me and do what you can do today.”

Collison's donation to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund will support the organization’s efforts in fighting for racial justice through litigation, advocacy and public education.