Charlottesville Native Kyle Long Reflects On Violent Rally: ‘Injustice To Humanity’

By Chris Emma—

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (CBS) – The Charlottesville, Virginia that Bears guard Kyle Long knows isn’t the one the world watched Saturday.

Long recalled the only noise coming from his hometown would be on a college football game day as the Virginia Cavaliers played at Scott Stadium — not the shrieks of horror and cries for humanity as white nationalists rallied in an ugly scene Saturday. One person was killed and 19 were injured as a car sped into a crowd of counter-protesters on site.

Though he was disconnected from the coverage while working at training camp, Long was aware of the clashes coming Saturday from Charlottesville.

“Regardless of where it’s happening, injustice in the world we live in, in any place, is injustice to humanity,” Long said Sunday at Olivet Nazarene. “And it’s a threat to the freedoms we have. Obviously, it’s a small percentage of people involved who are blatantly in the wrong, and we need to do our best as good folks and continue to outnumber and express our opinions and act accordingly when given the opportunity to.

“I’d say it was shocking to see that, but, you know, there’s bad things that happen all the time. Prayers to those who are involved. Hopefully, we can continue to do the right thing as a whole. Obviously, there’s going to be people that don’t follow the same suit. Don’t be those folks.”

Long said that his family members were safe from the incidents. The governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency for Charlottesville.

Since the scene unfolded in Charlottesville, Long has had Bears teammates approach him about his hometown.

“It kind of leaves a bad taste in their mouths thinking that one of their guys is from Charlottesville, where they see all these rallies and stuff happening,” Long said. “Like I said, don’t let a few bad apples ruin what is really true about Charlottesville and that area — there’s good folks there.

“I grew up with really good people. I got buddies are in the police department. I got a lot of family and friends out there. It’s rough. It’s a strange time. The more we can do right to each other and act accordingly when presented with the situation, then the better off we’ll be.”

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

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