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ALLEN PARK, Mich. – A day before the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving Day game, safety Tracy Walker had reason to celebrate.
So he called his people back home on November 24th.
After a 13-day trial at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia, Walker said he felt thrilled when jurors convicted the three white men of murder for their roles in the murder of his cousin Ahmaud Arbery.
“I called everyone at home. I know it was a party in my hometown. I do not want to lie to you, it was a great day for me. It is a great relief,” Walker said. “It’s sad that we had to wait so long for actions to take place, but in the end we have to control what we can control and we are happy with the verdict. At the end of the day, we will keep moving forward and keep going. “
Travis McMichael, his father, Greg McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan risk all life sentences in prison for their roles in Arbery’s death.
Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was shot and killed while jogging in broad daylight in the Satilla Shores district, near Brunswick, in February 2020.
“My cousin, unfortunately he will not be able to come back, but in the end there are more people like my cousin who still have these problems,” Walker said. “They still have to face the problems of being exposed because of their color or being looked at and looked down on because of their color, and that’s sad to say, but it’s something I can promote.
“My cousin is just a view of it and something that I can talk about from personal experience, but in the end it’s a whole lot of black people, it’s a whole lot of colored people, it’s a whole lot of Arab, Mexican, Hispanic , you name it, “he added. “It’s a whole lot of people who go through racial submission, so in the end, what I’m promoting is treating everyone equally.”
When the Lions host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Walker will continue to honor his second cousin, who played football with him at Brunswick High School.
He will break a pair of tailor-made cleats with Arbery’s face with the messages “#IRunWithMaud” and “Black Lives Matter”, which will later be donated to the Black Lives Matter organization on behalf of the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign.
The cleats are designed by Marcus Rivero, who runs a Miami-based company called Soles by Sir. He has worked with many NFL players.
“I just felt like it was another way for me to keep pushing his name out and keep representing him and everything he stood for,” Walker said.
Walker described his family as being extremely pleased with the verdict because justice was rightly served.
“I’m convinced they got what they deserve,” Walker said.
Walker hopes the Arbery ruling can help the next generation of blacks.
“It gives us hope that we will not be considered garbage,” Walker said. “Because you know, as I know, and it’s hard to say this, but as a black person, you certainly understand what I’m saying. When we’re pulled over, we’re afraid we’ll lose our lives or even better. , we we are going to jail right from the top of our head, no matter if we are at a red light or with an off light, we drove the stop sign, whatever the case may be.As a black man he was pulled over by the police or stopped by someone, it’s a problem, so I just feel like it gives us hope and more confidence.