Dayton Flyers coach issues statement after arrest of son at protests

Dayton coach proud of son’s ‘willingness to stand for what he believes is right and worthy’

Dayton Flyers men’s basketball coach Anthony Grant released a statement Monday in regards to the arrest of his son, Anthony Grant Jr., the oldest of his four children.

» RELATED: The Dayton protest in photos

Grant Jr., 24, was arrested at 10 p.m. Saturday during the downtown Dayton protests, which were triggered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. Floyd died while in police custody. Officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes, was later charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Protests spread throughout the country in the days after Floyd's death. There were 43 arrests in Dayton on Saturday and Sunday. According to the Montgomery County Sheriff's website, Grant Jr. faced charges of disorderly conduct and riot, and the those charges have been cleared. Charges of "misconduct at emergency" and "obstructing official business" are waiting court action.

In a statement, Grant said his son “chose to attend a rally in downtown Dayton to protest the murder of George Floyd and the systemic racism directed towards boys and men of color as demonstrated through decades of atrocities like these at the hands of those who swear an oath to protect and serve all of our citizens. He was in violation of a curfew that was implemented that afternoon by City of Dayton officials and was subsequently arrested and charged with three misdemeanor violations. Because of my position as Head Coach at the University of Dayton, his situation has been deemed newsworthy by some.”

“As a father of three boys and one daughter, I’ve always tried to educate my children to understand that they have freedom of choice, but not freedom from the consequences of their choices. As his father, I stand proud of his willingness to stand for what he believes is right and worthy. As an African-American father, I am also very aware of the risk of health, life, and future opportunities he is faced with in a society that marginalizes men of color and especially those with a history of priors with law enforcement. Injustices like what we as a nation have most recently witnessed with George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery or Central Park bird watcher Christian Cooper, leave me and millions of other fair-minded human beings with a lot of emotions to process. I ask that my family be allowed to address the consequences of my son’s decisions as a family and with the same degree of privacy and respect you would want for your own.

“Thank you and God Bless!”

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