HOUSTON - Houston ISD confirms George Floyd attended Yates High School all four years and graduated in 1993 where friends remember him as a football and basketball star.
Activist and former Yates football player Gerry Monroe boarded a flight to Minneapolis Wednesday afternoon to join the protests in the city where his fellow Yates alum was killed by police.
“I booked a flight for several reasons,” said Monroe. “One, to let everybody in Minnesota know that Floyd wasn’t by himself. When you wear these colors here—when you wear these Yates colors—this is real. So he was never by himself. But more importantly, I’m going to support the community because the community—from an African American standpoint—we’re tired.”
Monroe says he graduated Yates High School before George Floyd but has been friends with him since Floyd was a tight end on the high school football team.
“He was doing good, so whatever happened that day, I don’t think a hot check or a credit card issue you should receive a death sentence for,” said Monroe.
Monroe says he’s planning to bring a Houston and Yates High School presence to the thousands protesting Floyd's death in Minnesota.
“What do I want to do?” asked Monroe. “I want to raise a little hell. I’m an angry black man right now. I want to raise a little hell. I also want to get with whoever some leaders are, because there is a way that we can accomplish every single goal. And conflict resolution is the way to get it done.”
“Coming out of high school, he could have played football or basketball,” said Cyril White who played basketball with Floyd.
White says Floyd was a scholarship athlete who eventually played club basketball on White’s “To God Be The Glory” touring team.
“That was the direct opposite of protecting and serving when you dehumanize and kill and murder somebody like that, and that was very tough to watch, and I’m just sorry for all of his family,” said White, referencing the cell phone video of Floyd’s arrest.
White says he looks forward to seeing the four police officers go through the judicial system, but overall, he’s hoping for greater sensitivity training for officers when it comes to not dehumanizing certain people and when it comes to de-escalation tactics.