Swimmers Show Solidarity with #blackouttuesday Social Media Posts


After a weekend filled with protests around the United States after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after video showed his neck being held down by a police officer’s knee, swimmers are among those trying to make sure the message of racial harmony doesn’t get lost — and are spreading the word on social media with #blackouttuesday posts.

The posts have a plain photo that is the color black, and there have been thousands of those #blackouttuesday posts on social media so far today.

U.S. Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel posted the blank photo with just the #blackouttuesday hashtag. The message is simple but powerful, and is gaining more power as the posts grow by the thousands each hour. Manuel has been an active voice.


Giles Smith posted the image with his thoughts on what has happened in the U.S. lately.

Mentally the past 30 days has been nothing but draining I have seen a black man the same age as myself gunned down in a street (Ahmad Aubrey) a black woman aspiring to be a nurse shot dead ( 20 rounds fired) in her house ( Breona Taylor) and lastly the brutal killing of George Floyd an unarmed black man over a bad $20 bill by a Minneapolis police officer.
The only way to get through this systemic inequality that disproportionally impacts black men and women is with change. We need to empathize, listen and support those who don’t have a equal voice in this country.
#justiceforfloyd #justicefortaylor



Former Notre Dame All-American Tabahn Afrik added a personal message about the situation along with the #blackouttuesday photo:

I’ve seen many black people telling white people “it’s not my job to teach you how to treat me”. and that is true. But I am a firm believer that open and honest conversation goes a long way. I don’t expect you to know or understand. But If you love me, I do expect you to learn. And if the goal is to come together and I can help make that happen, then I have no problem playing my role in that. No matter how many times It needs to happen. That being said, if anyone anywhere, has any questions that you’re too afraid to ask Bc it’s embarrassing or politically incorrect, this is an open invitation to talk to me about it. And if ya know me, you know I’m easy to talk to 😉 Just reach out. I love y’all. Stay safe! ??#blackouttuesday”

Lia Neal‘s photo had a message reminding everyone there are multiple reasons for the #blackouttuesday.

Neal and Cullen Jones have been active on social media about racial harmony — as have many swimmers.


Canadian Olympian Taylor Ruck posted “Listening, learning, watching, standing … #blackouttuesday”

Other U.S. Olympic swimmers, water polo players and divers posted, including (more and more are posting every hour): Cullen Jones, Ashleigh Johnson, Michael Phelps, Lilly King, Ryan Lochte, Natalie Coughlin, Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin, Janet Evans, David Boudia, , Conor Dwyer, Amy Van Dyken, Dana Vollmer, Summer Sanders, Kara Lynn Joyce, Matt Grevers, Hali Flickinger, Jacob Pebley, Jay Litherland, Molly Hannis, Abbey Weitzeil, Katie Hoff, Kassidy Cook, Melanie Margalis, Cody Miller, Olivia Smoliga, Anita Nall, Katie Ledecky, Townley Haas, Elizabeth Beisel, Caroline Burckle, Ryan Murphy, Dara Torres, Tom Shields, Leah Smith, Chase Kalisz, Katie Meili and Micah Sumrall.

Missy Franklin posted about donating to the George Floyd Memorial Fund and Black Visions Collective.

This is also not about me. But I have to say, I’m sorry. I’m sorry it took me this long to truly understand that it is MY responsibility, to learn, listen, engage and ACT on behalf of my fellow black HUMAN BEINGS. I will be better. I will do better.

It wasn’t just Olympians as up-and-coming phenoms like Torri Huske, professionals and national team members like Natalie Hinds, Amy Bilquist, Katie McLaughlin, Ella Eastin, Will Licon, Emily Escobedo, Marta Ciesla, Courtney Bartholomew, Elizabeth Pelton, Zach Apple, Nick Albiero and Mallory Comerford, all the way to national team members in the U.S.

Many coaches also participated (with the list growing), including Davis Marsh, Greg Meehan, Tracy Slusser and Braden Holloway.

Many international athletes like Adam Peaty, Sarah Sjostrom, Alia Atkinson, Chad le Los, Ali Kalafalla, Joseph Schooling, Brittney MacLean, Andreas Vazaios and Vini Lanza participated as well with social media posts.

Hundreds of swimmers took the time to post and more are sure to follow as the day goes on. Swimmers have shown their solidarity in the past on a plethora of major issues in the sport and in the world.  The #blackouttuesday movement is the latest show of that solidarity.

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