The death of George Floyd this week has sparked national outrage, causing plenty of prominent athletes and coaches to speak out after a video showing a white Minneapolis cop with his knee on Floyd’s neck while he cried out that he couldn’t breathe went viral.
North Carolina Central coach LeVelle Moton is among them.
Moton, in a lengthy Twitter thread on Thursday afternoon, shared a terrifying interaction he and former UNC and NBA player Raymond Felton had with police officers in North Carolina in 2005.
Moton said the story was one he had kept quiet about for the past 15 years, due largely because Felton was preparing to enter the NBA draft and he didn’t want to hurt his draft stock or career.
But after Floyd’s death — which is currently being investigated by federal authorities as the national guard was called in on Thursday amid massive protests in the city — Moton said he felt compelled to speak out.
‘I notice a cop following me’
Moton and Felton — shortly after Felton had helped lead North Carolina to a national championship that season — were driving through his old neighborhood in his truck when he noticed that a police car was following him. Moton’s mom was on the phone with him at the time, too.
This George Floyd issue has triggered my anxiety disorder. In May 2005, I was driving through my old neighborhood in my truck (which had tented windows) and Raymond Felton was a passenger. In my rearview, i notice a cop following me. I'm on the phone with my mom & she says"Cont'd— LeVelle Moton (@LeVelleMoton) May 28, 2020
Partner is telling me don't say a "F#$%$ Word" and he's calling for backup. They haven't asked for drivers license, registration, or nothing. Ray is on the phone with my mom and they dont know he's in the truck (windows tented)... They shove me to the pavement and force me to sit— LeVelle Moton (@LeVelleMoton) May 28, 2020
Mind you, its raining outside and I have on all white. Soon after, his backup arrives and literally pulls up on the curb 4ft away from me with his gun drawn. He asked for my license and I told him "I'm not reaching in this truck for you to shoot me"....His partner glances at me— LeVelle Moton (@LeVelleMoton) May 28, 2020
Moton said one of the police officers then recognized him, saying to his partner, “These are not dope boys.” The initial officer then tried to apologize, but Moton wasn’t having it.
think that I'm an A$$Hole"...He extended his hand but I refused to shake it. I sat on that curb for 30 minutes humiliated. Its the first time in my life I felt less than a man. I never said anything publicly bc Ray was entering the draft and I didn't wanna impact his draft value— LeVelle Moton (@LeVelleMoton) May 28, 2020
Felton was selected with the No. 5 overall pick in the draft later that year by the Charlotte Bobcats. The 35-year-old last played for the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2018-19 season, and is currently a free agent.
Moton, who played at NC Central himself, was hired as an assistant there in 2007. He was promoted to the head job ahead of the 2010-11 season, and has compiled a 200-126 record in his decade leading the program whip reaching the NCAA tournament four times. They won the MEAC conference title this season, too, before the NCAA tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moton challenge to NCAA coaches
Moton ended his story with a public challenge to his fellow coaches throughout the NCAA.
support George Floyd and his family during this tumultuous time and see that justice is brought to his name. He needs you! His family needs you. Your student athletes NEED YOU! Black people Need You! May God bless you all....— LeVelle Moton (@LeVelleMoton) May 28, 2020
More from Yahoo Sports: