DALLAS – The recent tragedies in Dallas and Baton Rouge that led to the death of eight police officers had a profound effect on Kansas coach David Beaty. He grew up in the Dallas area and his father was a police officer.
“My heart hurts for the Dallas communities and for communities across the country that are suffering and in pain right now,” Beaty said during his opening statement at Big 12 media days Monday. “I pray that we will begin to listen to one another, love one another and get to the hard work of healing our nation, to the issues that we’re facing right now, I believe that college football can be an example in the midst of our struggles in America.
“Young men from all walks of life, different backgrounds coming together, listening to one another, working hard together, learning from one another, fighting together for a common goal. I think society can learn a lot from these young men.”
Beaty’s father Buford Lee died when Beaty was five years old. Buford Beaty was an eye-witness to the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald who two days earlier had assassinated President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963. Buford Beaty was almost directly behind Oswald when he was shot while being transferred from his jail cell in the basement of the Dallas Police Department.
Shortly after his opening statement, Beaty was asked about how he has tried to create an environment with his players to handle some of the social issues that have become hot-button topics.
“We created an environment of being selfless, committing to teammates rather than yourself,” he said. “I think we’ve got a team full of guys care about guys who care about the guy to the left and right more than themselves. I think we can teach a lot of people by how we’re going about that.
“We urge them to communicate. We don’t know if we don’t talk. I think you need to listen to each other. You have to understand where each side is coming from. And I would never, ever want to believe that violence is the answer.”