On Friday (May 28), alumni, community leaders, and members of George Floyd’s family formally celebrated the opening of an athletic field named in his honor. The George P. Floyd Athletic Community Field will serve students of the renowned Jack Yates High School in Houston, where George Floyd attended and played sports.
“It was nothing but a dust bowl,” Yates alumnus and former NFL player Santana Dotson said during the groundbreaking ceremony. Dotson, a third-generation graduate of the historic high school recalled how he and his teammates had to get creative while playing since their field didn’t have numbers or proper turf.
“We used to dream,” Dotson said, “of how [good] we could actually be [with the proper facilities]. Today is the day we thank those who’ve brought that dream to fruition.”
A $450,000 grant was donated to the school to renovate the field in Floyd’s honor following his murder last year. The Houston Texans also donated their official turf to the school.
“This is a blessing,” George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd said. “I was out here on this field,” he recalled during his remarks, “I don’t remember seeing this track like this before. It used to just be little pebbles,” he added. Philonise encouraged current students to stay in school.
“My biggest concern is, I know a lot of….kids [who attend this school] go home they might not have what they’re looking for. But here [at Yates] you have everything you want.,” he said.
Floyd went on to thank Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who was also in attendance and also spoke, for her unwavering championing of initiatives for the Floyd family and Houston community.
Local religious leader Bishop James W.E. Dixon concluded the ceremony with a benediction, calling for continued action. “I would say to us, let’s leave here on a mission, to not just think about the kids at Yates...but all the kids around this city who are going to need what Yates is going to have, and let’s pray that no one else has to die before that happens.”
“We’re stronger than that,” Bishop Dixon said. “We’re greater than that, and together, we can do better than that for all of our children.”
Members of the Floyd family marked the one year anniversary of their loved one’s murder on Tuesday (May 25) with a meeting with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The family, and advocates are pushing for police reform legislation named after the late Floyd which has stalled in Congress.
Photos: Cherranda Smith