Former NSU hoops star Steven Whitley leads rally and march for equality

Posted at 7:37 PM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 20:39:17-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Saturday afternoon, former Norfolk State basketball star Steven Whitley takes change into his own hands, organizing a rally and march that raises awareness of racial injustices and police violence.

The three-year NSU captain is used to leading, but instead of leading on the court in a pregame huddle, Saturday's huddle was a group of athletes who gathered at Virginia Beach's Town Center.

"Everybody has a part. Every has a position in which they play to make a change moving forward," Whitley said."There's no Hershey's bar without a Hershey's Kiss. We are Hershey's Kisses in our own individual body and we have to make a change first individually in our community to come together and reach a common goal, which is equality."

The idea for Saturday's event came from coaches who thought athletes should come together and use their voices for change. They reached out to Whitley, who they thought would be the right guy to lead the charge.

"They know I’m a leader and a lot of people look up to me," Whitley said. "I took that idea and when they presented it to me I ran with it. I'm here to make a difference, make a change."

"I think it’s very important to use our platform as athletes," Hampton basketball player Marquis Godwin said. "People look up to us, people listen to us and watch our actions very closely, so what we do is very impactful to the community.”

Today marked the first time Whitley's taken on the role of activist, but he says it certainly won't be his last.

"This is not the last thing I will be doing on behalf of making a difference."