Izzo: Men's basketball will stand united against social injustice
If the men's basketball team makes the decision to protest social injustices, Tom Izzo promises that it will be done as a team.
The Hall of Fame coach opened up men's basketball media day by making it known that he will stand alongside his team, fellow coaches and everyone else in the men's basketball program when it comes to any potential protests this season.
"I can promise you one thing: if our team does anything, ever, it's going to be our team, it's going to be all of us, our coaches, our managers, it's going to be everybody, because that's what teams do."
Izzo didn't shy away from the burden that he and his team bear.
"It's kind of up to all of us to do something about it," Izzo said. "I don't have all the answers. My players didn't have all the answers. You don't have all the answers."
The best way to work through these issues is by doing it together, Izzo said.
"Make no mistake about it, in my humble opinion, we have some (social injustices)," Izzo said. "But we need to be looking at real solutions rather than tearing each other apart."
As a coach, husband, and father, these issues hit particularly close to home for Izzo.
"The issues involving race, equality is important to me for a lot of reasons," Izzo said. "One, my own household. Two, my own team here."
Izzo's team this year comes from all over the country and through that his team has a wide range of perspective on all issues.
"We got guys from Flint and Okemos, Alabama and Ohio, we have guys from Dallas and Detroit, from The Bahamas and Grand Rapids," said Izzo. "As a team, we spend a lot of time discussing these issues and allowing everyone the opportunity to explain things from their unique and their own perspective."
Izzo said that any protests or statement's that are made will be well thought out and planned.
"I can also promise you that it will be something that will be thought out and we'll look at it as realistically as we can look at it," he said. "But I'm happy to say I think we have had a good handle on it. Whatever you agree and disagree with, it's helped us with our conversations. That is one of the main things we've been lacking."
But through all the talk of protests, Izzo went beyond that and talked about progress.
"I heard something that said, 'Are we about the protests or about the progress?'" he said. "Hopefully we're going to be about the progress."