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Mary Persons coach talks leading young men after George Floyd's death

Mary Persons baseball coach Clae Mathis shared his thoughts on the death of George Floyd and how sports can bring together all races.

MACON, Ga. — It's hard to ignore the violence that occurred in Minneapolis this week and the conversations it sparks on race. Historically, sports have always been a place where tough topics intersect and one coach had his own opinions to share on Facebook. 

Clae Mathis coaches baseball and football at Mary Persons High and shared his thoughts on the death of George Floyd in one part of a Facebook post. He elaborated on some of those feelings in a conversation with 13WMAZ Sports.

Avery Braxton: Can you just kind of explain kind of what the post was about and then why you felt the need or the agency to do that?

Mathis: Throughout the day, I kind of caught up on the news a little bit about what happened in Minnesota and you know those videos. They do something to you when you watch them. It's definitely terrible to see any kind of human life being taken but for this to kind of keep happening ... I've always tried to stay level headed about these videos because you know there's always one side that you see and there's another side that you don't, but after seeing the videos I don't know that other side I could see. We support police and we support the military and we support the entities that are needed, but I think the ones that do wrong they need to be punished and we can't turn blind eyes to these things.

Braxton: In your mind how do sports mend the walls that come through things like this?

Mathis: You realize that we're just players on this team. We're not a white player, we're not a black player, we're not a Hispanic player. We are just a player and we represent the colors on that uniform. I think that's why sports ... Everybody we need each other and we realize that sports is like a small world that I need you to get this job done and you need me to get this job done and it doesn't matter what we look like, what our parents are and you wind up loving your teammate.

Braxton: Being a coach and being a leader of high school boys, young men trying to figure out what the world looks like for them - How important that you be reciprocal and understanding of what different backgrounds look like and what somebody's home life here may reflect how they see the world vs somebody else on your team?

Mathis: The differences of each kid. You've got to look at everything kids go through to get there and definitely each kid has a different story and it helps to know their story to know them I guess is the word. 

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