‘That could’ve been me,’ two-time Olympic gold winner Christian Taylor reflects on George Floyd’s death

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after being arrested by a white police officer who, on his knees, pressed him to the ground for several minutes. The four former officers involved in the murder of Floyd are now facing charges.

His death has sparked protests around the world in recent weeks.

For Taylor, the idea that “it could have been me” made the incident even more impactful for the triple jumper.

“This is the difficult situation because when you think about what he was doing or how he was doing it, it is not much different than I go to a store,” said Amanda Davies, of 30 years old, at CNN Sport, in a press release. Live chat on Instagram.

“It was very scary because it was the first time that I could really have this fear of the difference in our lives and the speed with which something can change or something can be taken away and what I leave behind. “

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Taylor competes in the triple jump final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

‘I hope’

Floyd’s death sparked Black Lives Matter protests calling for racial equality and an end to police violence.

Despite similar incidents in the past, Taylor insists that he “hopes” that permanent change will ultimately result.

“I want to believe that all of these (past incidents) led to this moment and that it was the last drop, but I am also realistic and there were catastrophic events which ultimately did not lead to change”, a explained Taylor.

“We are still here in 2020. When will it be enough to reverse the situation?”

Taylor jumps at the 2018 Prefontaine Classic.
From LeBron James and Steph Curry to Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho, athletes from all regions of the sporting world expressed support for the events.

And instead of putting barriers between people, the unifying goal of equal rights has brought people closer, according to Taylor.

“To see that the protests continue, to see that the athletes continue to express themselves, to see that the races have really come together,” said the four-time world champion.

“There is this wall that is constantly erected between races, but I hope and believe that it brings people together because of the information and education perspective that people just didn’t know .

“Board members called me to say,” Christian, I didn’t know it was your reality. But now I’m going to get up. I will now speak. “

“And for me, it was so encouraging because maybe it was someone who would have looked at the news and said,” well, it’s unfortunate “and went on with his life, but for some reason , this seed has hit the right ground. This seed has really started to take root and I can truly say that I have hope. “

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Gold medalist Taylor poses on the podium during the men's triple jump medal ceremony at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

“It’s irresponsible”

In addition to coping with the emotions of Floyd’s death, Taylor also had to accept the temporary suspension of his American teammate Christian Coleman for a missed drug test.

Coleman was temporarily suspended from the Track and Field Integrity Unit (IAU) on Wednesday following a third failed drug test.

The independent body, which fights against doping, announced that the reigning world champion of the 100m had been charged with “failure of the localization”.

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) “tracking” system requires athletes to let anti-doping officials know where they will be for an hour each day, as well as details of overnight accommodation and venues. training.

If an athlete fails to do so and commits a “ranking failure” three times in a 12 month period, he could be punished. The American sprinter published a long statement on his Twitter page on Tuesday, admitting that he had missed a drug test on December 9, 2019 – the third test missed in the space of a year – but claims that he was put in place by the anti-doping organization, which did not contact him by phone.

In a statement to CNN, the IAU said it would not comment on the details of an ongoing case, but confirmed that its officers were asked not to call in advance.
Coleman twice won the gold medal at the world championships.

“Any advance test notice, in the form of a phone call or otherwise, gives athletes the opportunity to engage in forgery or escape or other improper conduct that may limit the effectiveness of the tests,” said the communicated.

Talking again about athletes who fail the screening tests is both “disappointing” and “frustrating” for Taylor.

“The importance of being a professional athlete and your professional responsibilities,” he said. “I am not trying to minimize (Christian) but the reality is that as a professional athlete you have to do certain things.

“It is very difficult to see athletes year after year, month after month, having classification problems. You can call it laziness but it is irresponsible. As a world record holder, you know that the eyes will be on you. “

“You are no longer the person on the street. You have to get into your work. You have to get into your role. If I were sitting in front of him, I would say the same to him.” Dude, grow up and accept everything you have to do now. “”

Coleman said he had made Christmas shopping “five minutes” but had no idea that a tester had visited his address for one of the tests.

He also claims that the AIU tester wrote an incorrect address on his unsuccessful attempt form, wondering if the tester even came to the scene.

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“It doesn’t matter if you run a charity race. There is no valid excuse for it,” said frustrated Taylor. “After one, you should have woken up. After two, it should never happen. You have three attackers.

“So when is this light bulb going to go out? So I’m frustrated because I think it has great potential.”

Coleman’s representatives did not respond to CNN when it was offered the right of reply.

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