WASHINGTON, DC (WWBT)- Football fans know Virginia linebacker Charles Snowden for his play-making ability on the field, but the past two weeks have seen him on the streets of the nation's capital, trying to sack racism and injustice.
"It's definitely a lot," Snowden said. "Just from the anger and frustration and the pain, but then also the feeling of community, the feeling of hope, the feeling of 'I'm not alone in this and there are people who are in this with me.'"
Snowden has protested in Washington, DC, numerous times since Monday. He even found himself in front of the White House when tear gas was deployed.
“Immediately, people panicked and started to run, and that’s when I was like 'oh wow,” he recalled. “But then, there was just such a sense of community down there. People are veterans, so when everything happened they were just telling everyone to calm down, just walk, stay relaxed, and so that really just eased me.”
For three and a half hours on Saturdays in the fall, the linebacker and his teammates are cheered on in crowded stadiums for stepping up and making plays. Snowden would like to see society make big plays of its own off the field.
"That feeling of security on the field, all that love and appreciation we're shown on the field, just making sure it's reciprocated off the field, not just for the athletes, just for black people."
The rising senior noted that as a student-athlete, he's seen privilege as well, and he's committed to using his platform to help other voices be heard.
"It's just opened my eyes and made me want to listen and just learn and just do whatever I can with this athlete platform that I have to just get their voices out there."
Eventually, the streets will go quiet and the rallies and protests will subside, but Snowden hopes the message to push for change continues moving forward with strength.
“The urgency to fix it I don’t think will be as increased as it is in three months. For us, it’s maintaining that sense of urgency, and to say this is a constant issue that millions of people live with on a daily basis.”
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