You may know them from their Cardinal legacies or their successful post-UofL professional careers, but two former UofL student-athletes are also making names for themselves off the field, so to speak.
Angel McCoughtry, the Cardinals’ career leader in scoring, rebounding and steals, led UofL to its first NCAA title game in 2009. She now plays for the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. Earlier this month, she helped create the WNBA/WNBPA Social Justice Council to address issues like inequality and systemic racism.
As part of that effort, according to WLKY, this season’s WNBA jerseys will include the names of people who have experienced social injustice – a way to bring the conversation to a bigger audience.
McCoughtry announced this initiative by posting an Instagram photo of her Aces jersey with Breonna Taylor’s name on it. Taylor was fatally shot by the Louisville Metro Police Department in March after officers executed a no-knock search warrant.
“This is a way to use our platform to be a helping hand during these trying times,” McCoughtry wrote in her post. “Silence is an ally for EVIL and when sports resume WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.”
The WNBA season is expected to return later this month.
Meanwhile, former UofL Football and current Atlanta Falcons player Jamon Brown has done plenty of activism work in his former community recently. Last year, Brown, who was selected in the NFL draft in 2015, established the Jamon Brown Foundation to help those in need in Louisville.
In March, Brown launched a GoFundMe page through that foundation to specifically provide financial support for those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Most recently, Brown has been using that platform to attend and speak at local protests, telling the Courier Journal, “I’m a citizen before I’m a football player. I’m a Black man before I’m a citizen. But I’m a human before I’m any of those … I’m trying to do what I can to shed light on what’s going down.”
Brown has influenced a number of current UofL players to join him in using their voice to raise awareness. Indeed, a number of those players have marched beside Brown and have led efforts to clean up the community and participate in other service events.
UofL’s football staff has also encouraged current players to use their voices.
Defensive coordinator Bryan Brown told the Courier Journal that this encouragement comes from head coach Scott Satterfield: “That’s one thing Coach Satt said, we need to make sure we don’t let this thing die, you know about racial diversity, racial tension and police brutality against people of color, we don’t need to let it die down.”