BANGOR – Solomon Iluyomade believes most people are good at their core but admits he has lived under a veil of caution.
“Even now I’m scared. I don’t my girlfriend drives me everywhere don’t want to drive anywhere I don’t really want to be near police officers not so much that they’re bad police officers but the stigma behind police is really really terrifying,” Iluyomade said.
After protests, peaceful and violent, emerged across the country after the killing of George Floyd. Iluyomade knew silence would only personify what black people have been experiencing for years.
“I’m done being silent like I can’t do anymore the injustice is there it’s clear and I feel like if I don’t support and I remain silent than I’m compliant,” Iluyomade said.
The Black Bear forward along with teammate Vilgot Larsson, field hockey senior Riley Field and other Maine athletes marched through downtown Bangor, making sure their voices were heard.
“And I thought at least to give them my presence there would be enough I mean not enough but a start to something I was most proud about how many people were there I didn’t expect so many people to be around it was very surprising but very good though,” Iluyomade said.
A London, England native, Iluyomade came to America to chase a dream on the court with Maine men’s basketball, a platform he’s using to help make an impact.
“If you have a black friend, if you have somebody of color that you know, just ask them what it’s like for them. Ask them and it has to be uncomfortable for you to move forward it has to be difficult so you can really understand the day to day struggles black people go through,” Iluyomade added.