Houston ISD trustees approve renaming Yates football field after George Floyd

Houston ISD trustees on Thursday unanimously approved a recommendation to name the football field at Jack Yates High School after George Floyd.

The recommendation came from a naming committee at the school and was based on input from students and the school’s greater community, according to agenda background materials for Thursday’s board meeting. Floyd attended the Third Ward school where he played football and basketball.

Nine trustees voted in favor of the measure and none against. The field will be officially named the George Perry Floyd Jr. Athletic Community Field.

“Like many African American men, George Floyd experienced feelings of inadequacy, felt the loss of self-worth, knew well the struggles that come with dreams deferred, hopes dashed, and the brokenness of possibilities denied,” the committee wrote in a statement. “The same things that many boys and young men of color attending Jack Yates High School today feel.”

The renaming will not have a cost, according to the district.

If approved, the measure would be the latest to honor Floyd, who was killed in May 2020 when a Minneapolis police office pressed a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death sparked mass demonstrations across the nation as people demanded more police accountability and reform.

Earlier this year, a Black Lives Matter mural was painted with crimson-and-gold block letters down Alabama Street in front of Yates.

A consortium of organizations is leading an effort to renovate the field, said Carl Davis, chair of the organization Houston Society for Change, which is part of the group. The vision is to create a first-rate field featuring a press box for communications students to learn, a digital scoreboard and a walk of fame to honor alumni, he said.

“For us as alumni — those Yates alumni who graduated with him and who are passionate about their school — we’ll consider it a major honor to have that football field named after George Floyd, someone who we consider our own,” said Davis.

Jeffrey L. Boney, president of the Jack Yates National Alumni Association, also expressed support for the renaming measure and the renovation project.

“Once you are a lion, a Jack Yates Lion, you are always one,” Boney said. “When we heard about the horrific and tragic incident that happened to one of our fallen lions, George Perry Floyd Jr., we, of course, wanted to ensure that social justice and social change was first and foremost and paramount in people’s minds to bring about the change that we deserve and need in this community and in this world.”



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