Tyreke Smith, a junior at Cleveland Heights High School, is one of the most sought after players in the country, especially his state. To no surprise, he’s being recruited by one of the most notable programs in the country right, Ohio State University, right in his own backyard, according to Cleveland 19.
But Smith’s on-the-field play isn’t what’s garnering him major headlines this week. It’s the t-shirt he wore during his visit to Columbus.
“I hope I don’t get killed for being black today,” read the white t-shirt with black and red lettering. It’s a clear connection to the countless instances of Black people being killed for nothing other than racism, which has received increased attention in recent years.
⭕️state was great!!!! 💯 pic.twitter.com/HlWtYBXhOu
— Tyreke Smith™ (@T_23_baller) June 17, 2017
Smith knew exactly what kind of message he’d be sending when he wore the shirt on such a major day in his life.
“I decided to wear the shirt because I wanted to bring attention to the epidemic of blacks being killed at an alarming rate,” he told reporters. “What we would like to do is have people talk about these issues to reduce the murder rate of African-Americans.”
Before even setting foot into a Division I program, Smith is already joining a growing class of politically active athletes promoting change in their world.