You may not know his name, but you will after this.
Last week Tyreke Smith, one of the top high school football prospects in the United States, wore a shirt that said, “I hope I don’t get killed for being Black today,” while he participated in a one-day workout with Ohio State University.
While the average American teenager seeks to spend their summer in a daze of youthful bliss and exploration, the 17-year-old is using his influence for the greater gain of raising awareness to uplift Black folk, while helping to move the needle forward.
The football phenom is currently being courted by most of the top football programs in the country, including USC, UCLA, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and LSU, just to name a few.
“I decided to wear the shirt because I wanted to bring attention to the epidemic of blacks being killed at an alarming rate. What we would like to do is have people talk about these issues to reduce the murder rate of African-Americans,” Smith told outlet Eleven Warriors.
The Ohio native recognizes the importance of raising awareness surrounding state-sanctioned violence and the systemic victimization of Black bodies. The deaths of young men like fellow Ohio son Tamir Rice and so many others, were obviously not lost on the young man.
His older brother Malik who designed the shirt said he encouraged Tyreke to take a stand. “The shirt exemplifies a voice that we have, but may not be heard. So why not have people see it?” he said.
Luckily, the Smith’s have received mostly positive attention after wearing the shirt–but of course there were naysayers. In spite of the adversity, the message remains focused on the importance of evoking change through direct and bold action.
If you want to support the Smith’s, you can click here to purchase the shirt.
Rise up young men, rise up!
SOURCE: Eleven Warriors