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University of Utah quarterback Jake Bentley speaks on racial injustice in America

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Quarterback Jake Bentley runs a drill as the University of Utah football team opens spring camp at the Eccles Football Facility practice fields in Salt Lake City on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah quarterback Jake Bentley wrote a post that shares his thoughts on race in America. The former South Carolina quarterback posted this message on Twitter as protests continued over the death of George Floyd.

Here’s what Bentley shared:

“I once had the opportunity to speak with Tim Tebow and I asked him what he told his team when down in the 4th quarter. 

“‘Why not us? Why can’t we be the guys that shock the world?’ was his response. 

“Over the past couple of days I’ve thought about this a lot. Not in terms of football but about life. 

“Why can’t we be the generation that puts an end to racism? Why can’t we shock the world and kneel with a fellow black teammate? Your views on the kneeling might be completely different than theirs. But that’s not the point, the point is that you recognize the pain and suffering that the black community is in and have been for generations because of racial inequality. While you might not have experienced the same pain, you recognize the need for change in America,” he wrote.

“I’ve realized that I need to do more. I’ve realized that just being there for my black teammates and friends isn’t enough. We must fight with them in life just like on the field. Defeating the enemy of racism and prejudice. 

“Being named after a black man. Jacob Lane Bentley after Coach Brian Lane and his family. One of the most special and influential people my life. Going to a black church every Sunday during the summer growing up with my AAU teammate Bouvier Howard and his mom, Ms. Denise. At Opelika High School, having Mrs. Oneika Smith and Mrs. Buchannon as my science teachers, loving every minute with them because of how special they were as people. I have been so blessed and thankful throughout my life to have seen how special the black community is and powerful it is and we need to empower them, not tear them down. 

“Now, speaking to all the white young kids. Why not you? Why not be the one that shows your parents/grandparents that may be stuck in the ways of hate, to see a different perspective of love for everyone. Why not go live a life with a purpose to treat everyone with the same love, compassion and respect? 

“That’s where it starts, it starts at the dinner table at night. Parents teach your kids the importance of loving one another. 

“‘God so loved the WORLD that he sent his Son ...’ not that he loved only one race. If we want to model our lives after God, then we too should love the world and everyone in it.”

Bentley is a senior graduate transfer from South Carolina. He was sidelined for all but one game last year with an injury. In his career with the Gamecocks, he threw for 7,527 yards, 55 touchdowns and 32 interceptions.