Racetracks, Jockeys, Horsemen Express Support For Black Lives Matter Protests - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Racetracks, Jockeys, Horsemen Express Support For Black Lives Matter Protests

Belmont Park jockeys kneel before the start of racing on the June 3 card.

As protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of white police officers continues around the country, well-known names in racing are expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., resumed racing for the first time since its COVID-19 shutdown Wednesday, and jockeys there took a knee in the paddock as an expression of respect and support. The colony also observed a moment of silence to remember those lost to COVID-19 and to honor first responders, medical and frontline workers.

“There's a lot going on in the world right now and we wanted to show respect to all causes, and to all people, and to show that we here at NYRA support everybody,” said jockey Reylu Gutierrez. “Horse racing, in general, supports all ethnicities. Horse racing is a worldwide sport and it doesn't matter what color you are, what religion you are, or what ethnicity you are. What matters in horse racing is that we are one. Here at NYRA, we have people from everywhere and fans from everywhere. We will continue to be united here and support everybody.”


The move follows an emotional video posted on Facebook earlier this week of jockey Kendrick Carmouche describing his sadness and frustration over the continued role of racism in policing and in society at large.

“Treat everyone the way you want to be treated,” said Carmouche. “I love everyone. I hope everybody loves me the way I love them. God bless everybody. Please be safe.

“It hurts me to see that I've got kids growing up in the same thing my parents went through and their parents went through.”

Carmouche expressed concern for the safety of viewers, as nightly demonstrations in some cities have devolved into violence. Similarly, Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse told The Canadian Press his son Joel is part of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team on Louisville's police force. The SWAT team has been called in during some of city's protests, leaving Casse to worry for his safety.

“He always tells me not to worry and, honestly, I feel better now that he's on SWAT,” Casse said. “Generally with SWAT, they usually have an idea of what they're going into when they go into stuff.

“But I think this (protests) is a little bit different. It's just scary. I think one of the scariest things is a police officer stopping a car to give someone a speeding ticket because you just have no idea what you're going into.”

Read more at The Chronicle Journal

Several racetracks participated in the #BlackoutTuesday movement on social media to express solidarity for those fighting for change.

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