LEWISTON – People often say sports bring us together, but sometimes that’s just not the case.
“It was my freshman year and they were the whole game just doing monkey chants the whole entire game from warm ups not even when the game started all the way to the end and nothing was done not one thing was done,” Hersi said when recollecting incidents of racism he’s been exposed to.
It was one of many instances the future Siena College men’s soccer player has experienced on the soccer field, a cycle he’s calling for those in power to change.
“We need to hold people in position of power like the MPA and stuff like that we need to hold those positions of power accountable because if they put zero tolerance towards racism in sports these things wouldn’t occur,” Hersi said.
Hersi’s first conversations about race took place in Atlanta, where he was born and raised. His brother’s experienced what America is currently seeing.
“They (Hersi’s brother’s) basically went through some experiences where it was really racial it wasn’t even just like a normal traffic stop it was just really racial they just taught me how to conduct myself like the simple things when you get pulled over put your hands on the wheel on top of the wheel stuff like that,” Hersi said.
He carried those lessons with him when his family moved to Lewiston in 2006, while he has never experienced police brutality, he knows it exists and urges others to listen and learn just as he is.
“Over these last couple days I began to process what it means to be a black man living in America. These last couple few weeks my friends have came forward to me and talked about their own stories and their experience and that really shifted my perspective on this whole situation,” Hersi added.