“It could have been any of us,” Hobbs on Breonna Taylor and the fight against police brutality


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The recent events of police brutality in the United States have weighed heavy on Illini cornerback Nate Hobbs.

“It could have been any of us. It doesn’t matter that we’re athletes,” says Hobbs. “At the time it just mattered that he was black. That could have been me, that could have been him, and that could have been any of us out here.”

But the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville hits close to home. The Illini cornerback is from Louisville, and he joined thousands in his hometown to protest against police brutality this summer. Hobbs didn’t expect to be seen in the national spotlight.

“Was just there in the moment, taking a knee, throwing up the fist.”

That moment was captured, and published in the New York Times.

“I didn’t even know it was going on the New York Times, but to me it doesn’t really matter to me though. I just want to make a change anyway I can, if ten people see it, it’s cool, but if the the whole world sees it, that’s even better.”

It was definitely more than 10. Hobbs brought his voice to Champaign where he marched alongside his Illini teammates in August. After a group of hundreds kneeled to remember the victims of police brutality, Hobbs addressed the crowd to share his message for change.

“There’s so many different colors, so many different people, and we out here for a common goal,” said Hobbs. “That’s the only thing that’s going to save this country is love, so thank ya’ll for coming out and supporting.”

Until Hobbs sees that change in our country, he will continue to make his voice heard.

“We’re not about to just shut up and play. I’m going to continue to be active, and spread awareness about this, and continue to talk about it.”

Hobbs’ full interview is available here.

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