In this episode, Brian Beckcom speaks with lifelong friend of George Floyd, Cyril White. The two forged their friendship on their high school basketball court and would go on to play in a travel league together.
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- His memories of George Floyd and how we must all remember that George was a human being
- Race relations in America today
- What we can do together to help bring people of differing backgrounds together
- How people’s worldviews or “lens” can create biases and prejudices
- The failure of Nixon’s War on Drugs and how it led to the exacerbation of crime against people of color
- The serious need for introspection and the power of empathy
- And other topics
Cyril White is a sports professional who has spent more than half of his adult life bringing traveling sports teams to Asia, especially China. Cyril also runs a basketball program called “To God Be The Glory Sports” (“TGBTG Sports”). Cyril knew George Floyd personally and is a native Houstonian who is doing his part to make the country a better place for all of our citizens.
Read the show notes
[00:00:00] Brian Beckcom: [00:00:00] Now, Hey buddy, Brian Beckcom, VB attorneys. I've got my good friend, Cyril white. I've already introduced Cyril. So you know, a little bit about him, but one of the reasons I wanted to get Cyril on the podcast is because Cyril knew George Floyd and knows the family personally. and so we're going to talk about George during this podcast because I think Cyril and I want people to know he was a real human being.
[00:00:26] He's not just. A symbol. He was a person. And so we're going to talk about George quite a bit, but before we do that, how are you doing Cyril
[00:00:34] Cyril White: [00:00:34] man? Everything's fine, Brian. Thanks for having me on, man. This is going to be a great show. Appreciate it.
[00:00:39] Brian Beckcom: [00:00:39] Yeah. I'm I'm really excited that you're on the show. I mean, I remember, after.
[00:00:46] the shoot or the murder. I want to say shooting cause so many times it's a shooting, but this was essentially strangulation. you texted me, I think it was the next day and told me that you knew that family. [00:01:00] And I was like, man, I got to get Cyril on the podcast to talk about this. So, but before we talk about that cereal, tell.
[00:01:08] tell the folks listening to a little bit about your background, where you're from. What do you do, kinda your, your work history and your history, with Mr. Floyd?
[00:01:17] Cyril White: [00:01:17] Yes, sir. Well, I'm from Houston, Texas. I grew up in, Southside area. I went to Lamar high school and, Right now, I graduated from a university of st.
[00:01:31] Thomas and I've been working in China for over 20 years, taking basketball teams and athletes, sports personalities, to China, for sports exchange activities. Prior to that, prior to that, with, to God be the glory, I was doing basketball camps and college exhibition tours. That was the beginning of what led to international activities.
[00:01:56] And that was the time that you know, we started to work, [00:02:00] work closer with mr. George Lloyd, although I'd known him since, since high school day, as we're about coming up in Houston, Texas.
[00:02:08] Brian Beckcom: [00:02:08] And he went to Houston Yates,
[00:02:10] Cyril White: [00:02:10] right. He went to Yates and I went to Lamar. So, you know, those are some more rival high schools.
[00:02:15] and also being from the Southside, you know, I was known to go to worthy. So I was in the magnet program that busted me out the Southside to go to Lamar. So I had, I still had a lot of friends. And so one of my good friends from the wording, Mike Riggs, who was the player of the year in 1992 for all of Houston, he and Floyd were good friends.
[00:02:40] They were good friends. And since I was good friends with Mike, Mike will have me go pick up Lloyd, and then we would go play at McGregor park or Sunnyside park, or we just nettle Chimp park. We'd be all through the Southside. And third ward playing ball together, you know, during our late high school and early college years.
[00:03:00] [00:03:00] Brian Beckcom: [00:03:00] So, and you, you, there are a couple things you said there that I think are really interesting. I actually wanted to get you on the podcast before this stuff happened with George because I wanted to hear from, you spent a lot of time in China and there's, you know, with this pandemic and there's a lot of insinuation about whether this potential or not all that sort of thing.
[00:03:23] So you have a, you have experience not only. With George and basketball and sports and stuff like that, but you haven't experienced in China. And the other thing I want to hear from you about is your experience as a black athlete and as a, I don't know, should we call you a coach or what, what, what, what do you consider yourself when you're taking professional sports profession as a sports professional?
[00:03:50] What your experience. as a black sports professional has been in China. And whether there are any differences you've noticed between maybe the way that [00:04:00] especially black men get treated in China versus the way they often get treated in the United States. But before we talk about that, serial, tell us, if you remember, like when was the first time you met George, what y'all were doing, but what kind of, what kind of guy he was, tell us about that.
[00:04:20] Cyril White: [00:04:20] Well, I just remember, you know, because I. I went to Lamar and, you know, Yates always had the reputation of the top basketball, top football, the toughest school. And I just knew that you know, we had a preseason jam burry, you know, a lot of high schools. They always play a couple of teams before they start.
[00:04:40] And we were, we had Yates that year. So we had another point guard on our team that was zoned to Yates, which was also at Lamar. He was kind of giving us the rundown and I'm like, man, they got this kid big Floyd man, big flaw. He's a monster.
[00:04:55] Brian Beckcom: [00:04:55] So
[00:04:56] Cyril White: [00:04:56] it's just kind of put it, just kind of put a little fear. [00:05:00] Into, like all the players, including myself, you know, so, and so we got to the gym, we played them and, you know, we lost the game, but that was my first experience with him as a player, we really didn't get close at that time.
[00:05:15] We really got close is after, like I said, me and Mike Riggs, the guard from Worthen. He and rigs were so tight that every time I picked up Mike, and let's go get the big floor, we got to get big Florida. So. That just kind of started that relationship like that.
[00:05:32] Brian Beckcom: [00:05:32] So you and I, and you and I grew up, I grew up playing basketball.
[00:05:36] I mean, I played basketball basically every single day of my life for four straight years in high school. And I, so I have, I was, I graduated 1991. So a lot of the players that I played against were the same players you played against. Remember some of these guys, Greg sounds familiar. but it, it was, it was cool.
[00:05:55] Cause in the summer I was up in Fort worth. At the time we were doing the same thing you guys were doing, we were [00:06:00] looking for pickup games. You got to go get your big man. Cause I wasn't calling card and you were a guard too. So if you want to go play pickup and keep the court and not have to sit for half an hour, we'll get your big man.
[00:06:11] So. And George was a big guy. Like how, how, how big was he?
[00:06:16] Cyril White: [00:06:16] Well, you know, listen, I'm about six, seven, two 30 at that time. So, you know, more realistically about 66, but I mean, even see the current pictures, he was still in shape. He was still lifting weights and still look like he can get out there and give the Texans a little help with the tight end position.
[00:06:33] And, and you know, that, that factor greatly into the outcome of this situation was, you know, just how intimidating and imposing that his frame looked. Yeah. There are caused, a knee jerk reaction, especially when you don't know deep into the character of this person. All you can see is what's on the outside.
[00:06:53] Brian Beckcom: [00:06:53] Yeah. And that's, I think that's a perfect segue. So, you know, I grew up. [00:07:00] Around big black guys as a basketball player, I hung around guys are six, seven, six, eight. and I was because I grew up like that. That was just kind of normal to me. And I never really thought anything of it. But the other night I was, I posted this thing on my Facebook page.
[00:07:16] It was an article and it's amazing. We've already forgotten about this, but. The black guy that was watching birds in central park and got basically got threatened on video by the white lady. I posted a story about this guy and I, all I said was, man, what a nice guy, because he had basically said, what she did was not right, but we shouldn't destroy her life for that.
[00:07:41] And, and I got a comment from a, from a friend of mine named bossy, Thomas of bossy. He's a black guy. He's. Six foot 250 pounds is the way he describes himself. He says, I might as well be the human equivalent of a pit bull. Here's what he said. That really stuck out to me. And I want people, [00:08:00] especially white people that are listening to this to really pay attention to this.
[00:08:03] Because I think even me as somebody who's spent tons of time around big black men, I don't even, I don't think so. Here's what he said, cereal. And I want you to comment on this. He says, I'm six foot, 250 pound muscular black man. I might as well be the human equivalent of a pit bull. I have to plan when I go out in public.
[00:08:24] If I want to wait until the heat of the day, cools off and go to the park at night, I have to be mindful that at the park at night, I might scare somebody. I have to make sure I have a pleasant face. Smile, look, not threatening. I can't have a bad day. I can't be angry in public. I can't raise my voice. And then he goes on to say some other things and I messaged him and I said, man, that really bossy, that really hit home to me because, until you're in the shoes of somebody like George Floyd or Cyril white, you just don't know [00:09:00] the kinds of things that, that you have to keep in your mind as a black male on this country.
[00:09:05] So talk about that a little bit cereal. If you don't
[00:09:07] Cyril White: [00:09:07] mind. Yes, I appreciate his statement. I was asked by a reporter of the, 25, black men that I know in, in my professional circle, 25 professional black men that are, you know, the plan in the NBA or some far league NFL sports agent basketball coach.
[00:09:32] How many have been. Profiled and harassed by non-black police officers and he's 25 and a hundred percent,
[00:09:42] Brian Beckcom: [00:09:42] a hundred percent off
[00:09:44] Cyril White: [00:09:44] multiple, you know, it's like waiting until one guy finishes telling their experience so that the next guy can share, share their story. And, you know, will Smith recently said that racism is getting worse.
[00:09:57] It's getting filmed. And he
[00:09:59] Brian Beckcom: [00:09:59] spoke
[00:10:01] [00:10:00] Cyril White: [00:10:01] about how much now. I mean, even in the case of mr. George Floyd, we both know if those cameras were not rolling, how different the narrative could be and probably would be, as we see what happened, even with the initial autopsy that was in the hands of the people of Minneapolis.
[00:10:18] So, you know, it's, it's something that you have to keep in mind. I have a black son. Who was a, you know, very strong and very muscular. And, you know, you know, his lens, his lens is that he's socialized, in a very diverse environment coming up and growing up in private schools. and you know, it, it comes to a point where sometimes the lens change, even in that environment and you have to have different conversations about, Hey, okay.
[00:10:48] You know, we know we're in this certain neighborhood, but. I know your buddies want to go ride skateboards and bikes at night, but you know, you can't go well, we're going to come pick you up at that [00:11:00] time. And, and just, Just try those conversations that, you know, parents that are, are not black or not, not of color.
[00:11:10] Maybe they don't have to have the same type of talks with their kids. So it's definitely a, ongoing adjustment that has to be made.
[00:11:17] Brian Beckcom: [00:11:17] Yeah. And so, and one of the things in man, you said a lot there. And so there's a lot of things I want to cover, but one of the things you, you, you, you referenced the, will.
[00:11:26] A Smith quote, which I heard, the things are just being filmed now. But I would add to that, that there's a lot of stuff going on. That's not captured on video. I mean, the video, that's just the tip of the damn iceberg. And so what I'm seeing now, Cyril is stuff like people saying. Well, statistically, the chances of dying from a police officer are higher if you're white and if you're black and what, what I want to say [00:12:00] is you have, if that is your argument, you have no appreciate, forget about the murders.
[00:12:08] What about just the constant suspicion, the mistreatment, the, the planning of evidence. What, what about all that stuff that does not happen in my community? I can tell you that for an absolute fact. And it does happen in the black community for, for more often than it should. But one of the, so one of the things you said, Sarah, which you talked about the initial medical exam,
[00:12:33] Cyril White: [00:12:33] correct autopsy.
[00:12:35] Brian Beckcom: [00:12:35] Yeah. And as a lawyer, when I saw that come out, first of all, In a case like this, you would expect the medical examiners spend a little bit more time that came out so fast. It was so rushed. You know, this was going to be a big issue. I cannot believe that came out that fast, but there was so much nonsense in that thing.
[00:12:55] Right? Like, like for instance, they said possible [00:13:00] drug interaction. Like they're just basically guessing what I mean. And so. And then you have the, the, district attorney come out. I think it was immediately and say, there may be evidence that this doesn't is not what it seems. And we all saw the damn thing on video.
[00:13:19] And so it looked to me and a lot of people, I think that there was a pro that they were starting to basically cover the thing up, like, like happens far too often. And that might. Have something to do with why there was so much anger. What are you, what are your thoughts on that?
[00:13:35] Cyril White: [00:13:35] Well, you know, too, You just the language, like you said, saying things like there's possible, it could be possibly caused by intoxication.
[00:13:46] Right. And could chances of death increase because of hypertension and, you know, you start to, you know, whether something is true or not. When you start to make these statements out to the public, it's, it's just, it's just a way to kind [00:14:00] of plant that type of train of thought. There. That's initially what I thought too was it was just, it was a little bit of legal posturing and some gesturing just to kind of, kind of prepare that narrative for the other side.
[00:14:13] I knew once they brought the independent doctor in there were going to be some different findings there, you know, which, you know, as at work, but, and it's, it's okay. It's one of those things where if. It's the lens. It's a word. I use a lot as lens, lens people's lens. And because you have this lens that you said I'm used to being around big black, strong guys, I'm not intimidated by that.
[00:14:45] I've had many exchanges when people have limited exchanges. Well, certain ethnic groups, it causes, it's a lot of unknown and it causes a lot of fear. And that fear is based on ignorance. What to [00:15:00] God be the glory was, is doing in George Florez memory is setting up some program that can bridge those kind of gaps.
[00:15:07] Tear that ignorance down, create some nonthreatening situations. Where cops and members of law enforcement that don't normally socialize. Well, people from certain ethnic groups can have a chance to have some exchanges through things like three on three basketball games, softball games, kickball games, where you're showing up and you're not in your uniform and you don't have to.
[00:15:31] And, and you know, now of course, this is going to take a little bit of preparation on both sides, you know, to kinda set the stage, to bring these groups together. But I think that's something that to God be the glory can do. So to honor George's memory. Cause I can move in and out of these
[00:15:46] Brian Beckcom: [00:15:46] circles. Yeah.
[00:15:47] Cyril White: [00:15:47] I pull in and out of these circles
[00:15:49] Brian Beckcom: [00:15:49] and I, you and I are along in life like that.
[00:15:51] Like we can, we can get in both of these circles, but so many people are, they're just completely stuck in one bubble,
[00:15:57] Cyril White: [00:15:57] correct? Correct. And when you run across [00:16:00] someone that you're not familiar to have exchanges with, well, then there's a lot of misjudgment misinterpretation and in this case, just total disaster.
[00:16:09] Brian Beckcom: [00:16:09] Yeah. And so part, maybe one of the reasons I feel the way I do is because growing up as a basketball player, there would be times where I'd be in the gym and I'd be the only white guy. And I got treated all now. Of course I was good basketball player that hell, but I got treated fantastically, phenomenally.
[00:16:26] And, and I, and I have this theory, Cyril that one of the reasons, one of the root causes. Of, black crime police violence and all the problems associated with that. If you really want to get down to it, it has to do with this. So called failed war on drugs in the early 1970s, Richard Nixon, and this is on tape and he started the war on.
[00:16:52] Drugs said we're going to do this to target the blacks and the hippies because they vote democratic. That is on [00:17:00] tape. So the original war on drugs. Was a complete and total political sham. Now, if you're going to have a war like that on a certain group of people what's going to happen is that the stuff were happening right now.
[00:17:14] We're seeing right now. So, you know, until this stupid failed war on drugs, that we've wasted trillions of dollars on and destroyed the country of Mexico until we started that, you know, there wasn't this mentality that the cops. We're we're at war with the company. Right. And so I love your idea because one thing I think that may be helpful is exactly what you're talking about.
[00:17:41] We have to stop looking at each other. Police officers have to stop looking at certain communities as the enemy, correct. These are our fellow human beings. So that, that, that is a, that is a fantastic thing. But you guys are
[00:17:55] Cyril White: [00:17:55] doing zero. I want to add to that a little bit about that as far as, you [00:18:00] know, go back to George Floyd.
[00:18:02] Okay. In 1998, me and George were both finished playing at college. He got a full scholarship, South Florida community college. He transferred to Lee college. Okay. He was having great issues. So he didn't, he didn't play out his eligibility, but he continued to get scholarships. Now I come along. And I started this touring team.
[00:18:26] We're going to go play colleges, preseason games. Okay. And so we're going to put up our eight to 10 colleges during October, November, December George Floyd Kane, and join the team cause he wants to continue playing at a high level. And we had something organized. Not only did he join the team, but he got other guys from around.
[00:18:48] To come and be on the team guys. And once you Gates guys and went to Austin, Oh, the gospel third ward and fifth ward. And we went on to play college, can know what happened to that. [00:19:00] Some guys end up getting college scholarships from that, and that was directly linked to George's recruitment. So now you're just police officer.
[00:19:09] And before who put your neon, this man is Nick. Would you stop to consider it? The number and scholarship dollars that this man is responsible for, for steering kids down this path.
[00:19:22] Brian Beckcom: [00:19:22] Right. Exactly.
[00:19:23] Cyril White: [00:19:23] The number of people that he's kept from getting arrested, selling drugs and impoverished neighborhoods, because he pushed them towards an athletic track so they can improve their lives.
[00:19:33] But you're not thinking like that. You just see a big black guy that you think can beat you up if you make him
[00:19:38] Brian Beckcom: [00:19:38] mad. Yeah, exactly. You
[00:19:41] Cyril White: [00:19:41] gotta do so much to make him mad. Cause he's just so
[00:19:43] Brian Beckcom: [00:19:43] cool. Yeah. And I was going to ask you that, like, so, so what was George like as a person? Like what kind of guy was he?
[00:19:55] Cyril White: [00:19:55] Natural comedian jokes for days, whoever [00:20:00] your favorite standup comic acted. Just imagine Bernie Mac, Chris rock, just combine them in one, man. This is going to be a bunch of lashes. Big old guy, always got a story and a smile and you know, just something to lighten the mood. I was saying, I was saying this, I was telling my wife, I said, if there's a party.
[00:20:21] If there was any party that Floyd was at, I don't care who the party was for. If it was Michael Jordan's party, you came in the party and you looked around. Florida was not to be standing next to Michael Jordan and Michael Jordan was going to be glad it was going to be all good. There's a Bible scripture that says it is better to be asked to, to, to sit in that at the end of the table and be asked to come to the head of the table.
[00:20:51] Then to sit at the head of the table and ask to move publicly humiliated. You get Floyd with the type of [00:21:00] guy that you would invite to the head of the table.
[00:21:02] Brian Beckcom: [00:21:02] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:21:03] Cyril White: [00:21:03] When he got to the party, people saw him, they going to ask them to come and get right into the mix.
[00:21:08] Brian Beckcom: [00:21:08] And, and, and I want to, just to be clear, so anybody that's listening to this that may have their head in the wrong place.
[00:21:15] I want you to imagine if you're listening to this right now. That there are three people on top of a man who has been saying he can't breathe and is a con out for his mom. Who's been dead for years. Okay. And you have your knee on this person's neck. Okay. And then he stops moving and then he stops responding and you keep your knee on his neck for a, another two and a half minutes.
[00:21:43] Okay. So let's just do this real quick. Imagine you have your knee on somebody's neck. That is completely non-responsive. And you starting now
[00:22:01] [00:22:00] that was 10 seconds. Imagine you do that for two and a half minutes. Okay. So anybody that's listening to this that doesn't think this was murder, this was murder and it was purposeful murder. This is not, it doesn't matter, frankly. What he was accused of. He was accused of forging a $20 check or some stupid thing like that.
[00:22:20] but this was, this was murder and, you know, Cyril, it bothers me that there's this rush, for some people when stuff like this happens to try to blame the victim, try to figure out something wrong with the victim victim, must've done something wrong, drag his character through the mud or her character.
[00:22:43] Yeah, it's the same thing with Sandra bland. I mean, Sandra bland is dead because some racist cop arrested her for suspicion of having a joint. I mean, are you kidding me? I mean, we got to get our priorities straight here, but let's talk about Sierra [00:23:00] Le let's let's focus a little bit on, what kind of things.
[00:23:07] That we can all do too. and you've already talked about some of these things, but what are some things that we can do to make this situation better?
[00:23:18] Cyril White: [00:23:18] You know, one thing I think everyone just needs to. Take a deeper self, take a look, take a deeper look at themselves in the mirror. And that's not to say that if you're taking a deeper look at yourself in the mirror that you're in being an admitted racist, cause that's not the case.
[00:23:34] Just we need to do the whole searching. It's just like you just said earlier, man, you had a lot of great exchanges, a lot of memories with a very diverse audience, which you didn't even really understand how this gentlemen was seeing himself as a bulldog and just kind of. So just a little bit more empathy, putting yourself in other people's shoes and, you know, Being willing to have those [00:24:00] uncomfortable conversations.
[00:24:01] Because again, what I say, this thing that to God be the glory is going to do in Floyd's memory. It's going to be some uncomfortable conversations that we have with these members of law enforcement. For sure. It's not it's it. That's why I say it's going to, it's going to be so uncommon, uncomfortable conversations with some of these, you know, black guys or people from different ethnic groups that don't, that don't socialize in a diverse, it's going to be some uncomfortable conversations, but this is uncomfortable.
[00:24:30] This is uncomfortable to see every major city burning and a military force on the street. And people asking me from China. What's going on with law and order in the USA. White. When are you coming back to China? Or can you come back to China? It's just not very reflective of the strength of our nation and, and what our, reputation has been around the world.
[00:24:57] Brian Beckcom: [00:24:57] Yeah. And you know, there's one of the things [00:25:00] that, one of the things that's really frustrated me and this isn't, this is frustrated me for years and I've got a social media posts that are four or five years old talking about this. When did it become the rule in this country? The black people could only protest in a way that was acceptable to everybody else.
[00:25:19] And so, you know, it frustrates me because, Kaepernick and the NFL football players tried to do it peacefully. They tried. And what happened, a significant portion of the country called him. Our president called them sons of bitches. Right. And a significant portion of the country. I thought they were unpatriotic thugs and stuff like that.
[00:25:44] All they're doing literally is taking a knee and you would have thought by the reaction from some people that they were committing murder. So, w when did it become the rule that we get to dictate [00:26:00] how other people protest? I mean, when, when all these. idiots with these automatic weapons went to the Michigan state Capitol.
[00:26:09] I didn't see anybody talking about their protest. That protest is dangerous. I mean, they are putting potential people's people's lives at risk. They're literally yelling at the cops. They're screaming at the cops. I don't see the same people that are complaining about Kaepernick and the NFL players.
[00:26:28] They're not complainant about those people and it frustrates. The hell out of me. The other thing that frustrates me is it shows a complete and total lack of appreciation for American history. This country was founded on protest. We founded this country on protest and well, I, I always think back, it, to me it's.
[00:26:50] It's stunning how little history people know. So like back in the sixties, it's talking to my son the other day and he showed me [00:27:00] a picture of, the civil rights, marchers, marching arm and arm. And he goes, dad, this is, this is how you should protest. This is the way to do it. And I said, sorry. Five minutes later, they were sick and dogs on those folks blasted them with water cannons.
[00:27:15] Cyril White: [00:27:15] Right, right, right, right. Right.
[00:27:17] Brian Beckcom: [00:27:17] So, so, so this is like a, this is like a thing that just keeps repeating back in the sixties when people were
[00:27:23] Cyril White: [00:27:23] right. I'm so sick of people
[00:27:25] Brian Beckcom: [00:27:25] talking about Martin Luther King and not 75% of the country. Didn't like him back then.
[00:27:31] Cyril White: [00:27:31] Correct? Correct. That's the same. I share that sentiment.
[00:27:34] Brian Beckcom: [00:27:34] I don't know how we, I don't the frustrating thing is I don't know how we break out of this. Broken pattern of thinking, because it truly is a broken pattern thinking. I mean, we look back at, you remember the Olympians who raised their hands with the black tea. We look back. Most of us look back now at those people.
[00:27:55] And we look at those people as heroes we look at, I think, was it Bob Beamon? [00:28:00] I forget the name right for Austin, maybe. But I think there was a Swiss guy doing it too, but. But back then people were talking about them being unpatriotic. Right. exact pattern. And I don't know how we break out of that cereal.
[00:28:18] Cyril White: [00:28:18] You know, like I said, it's, it's a, it's a mindset and you know that these are mindsets and, and, ideologies that exist at the top levels of our government. And, and this, these are ideas. If it's at the top levels, it's not these types of thought processes are not being denounced. At the top levels in our country, then they're just going to remain to be pervasive, even in this case would when mr.
[00:28:45] George Lloyd. And I think if, if mr. Donald Trump just simply came out and said, this is awful, what these officers did to put their knee on the back on the back of the neck of that innocent man, you know, and he came [00:29:00] on and spoke against that and, and, and locked up those murderers that could. Change the climate of this country instantly.
[00:29:08] Cause it will make all these angry people feel like the people at the top really care. And this is something that I shared with the Floyd family here. And I'm going to say it here on this platform. for me, I do understand, I understand the black lives matter movement. I understand it well for Cyril white and to God be the glory.
[00:29:32] I've always been about diversity and inclusion and yes, black lives matter very much to me cause I'm one of them. But I feel like we need to come together and we need to band together. And sometimes people that are on the other side, when you say something like black lives matter, it makes it difficult for other people to know how to join into that.
[00:29:56] So I want to be a part of building the bridge. I'm not against a [00:30:00] black life, black lives matter movement, but I'm here. So solicit diversity and the support and diversity in how we move forward with coming up with a plan for all of Americans.
[00:30:13] Brian Beckcom: [00:30:13] Yeah. And so my view on this, like it, I always chuckle when I hear some white dude go, I don't see race.
[00:30:24] I don't see color. I feel like saying, well what's are your, are your eyes not working? Are you colorblind? I mean, I can see that you're darker skin than I am. Right. You can see that I have blonde hair, but what we need to get to the point of it is we need to get to the point where that doesn't mean anything about whether you are a good or a bad person, like, correct.
[00:30:47] So that's where I think we need to get to. And I worry a little bit Cyril that some of the people on the extreme left side of this. Or, or what you said about black lives matter, I think is great [00:31:00] because I think some people won't extreme left side of this debate, are making it all about race. Like it's all about to some of those books.
[00:31:10] And to me, I don't see how there's really any big difference. If you're making it all about race between a racist and somebody. I mean, if that's what it's all about, then to me, you're not thinking straight, so correct. but you know, and the other thing Cyril that I've always thought is, let's say you, didn't want to do it because of moral or ethical reasons.
[00:31:34] Well, just purely logical reasons. Like why would you treat somebody different? Because they have slightly more pigment on their skin. It just seems so. Ridiculous to me. And I don't know, I'm, I'm optimistic that the younger generation is headed in the right direction. I, I worry that maybe a lot of this is caused by maybe our generation and the generations above us.
[00:31:55] And I, and, and I'm optimistic that when the younger folks, take [00:32:00] control that maybe this stuff will be a little bit better. What do you, what, what's your general feel for that?
[00:32:05] Cyril White: [00:32:05] I feel that way too. I feel that way too. I feel that, if we go up the ladder to our, our great grandparents and our grandparents and we check, their, their, their Rolodex of friends and how diverse.
[00:32:20] Diverse, dear friends. We're probably not going to be, to mix probably not going to be to integrate it. So as we continue to go down the line now, like you say, we both have so many relationships, great relationships with people of color, people of all different backgrounds, nationalities. We we've enjoyed a full life in that capacity.
[00:32:42] But there are still pockets in this country where people are still really segregated either, either on purpose or by default, you know? So that's the thing is getting into those pockets of people. And creating some opportunity maybe were may [00:33:00] where they're not just totally fully integrating their lives, but you need to have some experiences with people that you don't socialize with all the time so that they can come more human to you.
[00:33:13] And you can just, and I, and to God be the glory, we want to create some, some platforms and situations where that can happen, you know? Cause that's, it, it all, let me tell you. You said about the basketball courts. And I had a great time. I was talking with one of my white friends and, you know, he supported to God be the glory.
[00:33:34] He's been a good friend of mine. We've coached together and little league and we're talking about this and he's like, you know, cereal, that door swings both ways, just like that. That's just like, you know, cause someone time. I was at a basketball court and I was the only white guy there. And you know, none of the guys on the court, they would pick me up.
[00:33:54] Cause they thought I was, you know, dumpy white guy who couldn't play. And I say, you know what? You right. [00:34:00] You are 100%. Right. That is a form of that. I was like, but let me say this. As a black guy, that's probably the highest platform in which discrimination can be exacted against you.
[00:34:14] Brian Beckcom: [00:34:14] Yeah. You
[00:34:15] Cyril White: [00:34:15] not getting picked up for the, for the game, man.
[00:34:18] He cannot not give you a job or the not you alone or the South to kill you in the middle of the street.
[00:34:24] Brian Beckcom: [00:34:24] Great point.
[00:34:27] Cyril White: [00:34:27] You can just not take you in the game. So there's an inequality, even in that, you know, but again, I enjoy so many relationships with white friends have these types of conversations that need to be had with other pockets of white people that don't know us or a Y or a person that really can.
[00:34:46] Move in it, out of these circles and kind of reduce some of this fear and ignorance
[00:34:50] Brian Beckcom: [00:34:50] that exists. Yeah. Yeah. And, and it is, and, and it's, and it's, it's exactly what you said. It's fear and it's ignorance. And so, you know, [00:35:00] I I've, I've kind of over the years, just not now, when I see people of my race that are racist, I just think they're ignorant.
[00:35:07] I just think. the people that worry me the most are the people that aren't ignorant. The people that are intelligent people and are still racist. Those are the people that are dangerous. Most of the people that I encounter, I mean, I'll give you a quick story. When I was at a and M I played basketball there for a little while, and then I joined the Corps cadets and.
[00:35:28] I was a freshman in the Corps cadets and a couple of my classmates were from these. We didn't have any black guys in my outfit. And a couple of my classmates were from these little small towns and they were using the N word constantly. And dude, stop saying that in front of me. Right, right. That offends me.
[00:35:46] I don't want to hear that shit anymore. You can say it and say it. And they looked at me like I was crazy. And they were like, what are you talking about? And I'm like, I don't want to hear that stuff. And you know what. They stopped saying it, but it wasn't that they were bad [00:36:00] guys. It's just ignorant. That's just what I heard growing up.
[00:36:03] And so, you know, a lot of these people, I think it's just a matter of educating the people, right.
[00:36:12] Cyril White: [00:36:12] That's right. That's right. You know, just a, a little like, cultural and diversity education, social awareness. Yeah. You know, ethnic, ethnic education, just, you know, like that. I laughed when you said that.
[00:36:28] Cause I understand that. That that's rooted in their lifestyle. Like they are, they grew up, they were just surprised that you didn't join in with that. They didn't even see the error of their ways. Yeah. And so, yeah, and same time that door swings both ways. That door swings, both ways you gotta die. That's coming out of the inner city projects and he's gone to elementary, middle school, high school with only black people.
[00:36:57] He's never had any exchange. So when he sees a [00:37:00] white person and all he see is him them getting killed or the cops getting caught on them for what selling water or whatever, then they're going to always be apprehensive. Oh, a white person comes through the neighborhoods like what's that white boy doing?
[00:37:14] Why is he over? There was like, Oh man, like we got it. We got it. That, that's what it is. And as a guy, like you say that that's living in China that has a whole life in a whole other country is just, I really hate to see. People functioning with this limited lens like that. Yeah.
[00:37:36] Brian Beckcom: [00:37:36] Yeah. And the thing about it is if it's ignorance, it can be fixed.
[00:37:39] Ignorance can be, Hey, really? I don't know what you do about hate necessarily, but if it's just ignorance, all it is is education. I mean, I, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm thinking about, my inlaws told a story years ago. They went to the super nice dinner at this country [00:38:00] club in Houston. They get sit, sat down next to this bike dude and his wife.
[00:38:05] And I know who the guy is. He, I think he was actually an ambassador to a, some country in United States. He's a very, very well known lawyer. He's a partner at a huge law firm, very successful guy, but it was funny because my father in law comes back and goes, yeah, turns out. That this guy is a lawyer and it turns out he's a part in that he acted like I was supposed to be surprised by that.
[00:38:28] Right guys like that. Like, why is that surprising to you? But, but the thing was, is he just had never been around it, like it just, you know, and so, we'll, we'll Cyril. Tell us about one of the things I'm really interested in and you and I have never talked about this. And so this will be the first time I'll hear it too.
[00:38:50] I want to hear what your experience as a black man was and has been in China and also how the black athletes that you [00:39:00] bring over there or treated it. Yeah.
[00:39:04] Cyril White: [00:39:04] Gotcha. Well, you know, I went to China, firstly, as a basketball player, right. In 1999. you know, so I was suiting up and playing in games. They treat you great, like.
[00:39:18] When you're coming from when you're coming from the USA, even the word for America may Gwar may walk. It means beautiful land that's still may or may means beautiful. Wow. Or is country. So you say Joan was China, may walk USA, Germany, Bagua. France.
[00:39:45] Brian Beckcom: [00:39:45] Nice.
[00:39:46] Cyril White: [00:39:46] What is the, so America is always want to be at the top.
[00:39:52] You say you come in from the USA, you're going to get paid 10, 15, 20 times more. Then they're paying the domestic [00:40:00] players and they're going to put you on a pedestal. Everything is going to be great and fabulous. If you are an athlete, that's a part of the professional leagues in China. Now. That athletes, there are a lot of foreigners that come to China to work on work visas, teaching English, teaching sports, coming from the U S Australia, UK parts of Africa.
[00:40:32] Oh, I see some of the darker skinned Africans. definitely get some racial treatments. I witnessed in the Southern part of China, some of the darker, the darker skin Africans, I've been fortunate coming into China culture as a professional athlete, then making the transition [00:41:00] to a sports professional, working with other high profile athletes.
[00:41:04] So I'll always function under this umbrella of exclusivity. That kind of weeds me out from some of the, some of the things that just other people may encounter in China. So that's been my experience. Yeah.
[00:41:19] Brian Beckcom: [00:41:19] So, so that's great. That's good to hear. And you know, what that kind of makes me think Cyril is that in some ways that's similar.
[00:41:28] To the United States, we treat our celebrities, we treat our black athletes. We treat our black musicians like gods. I mean, you know, black culture is all over the place now. you know, and so, but, but then we don't treat the least of our citizens the same way.
[00:41:49] Cyril White: [00:41:49] Inequality. I gotta worry about China real quick.
[00:41:53] Oh, I was in the elevator one day and this older Chinese couple, they didn't know I could speak Mandarin. They [00:42:00] got, and so they looked at me, the husband goes.
[00:42:05] Brian Beckcom: [00:42:05] Tasha
[00:42:06] Cyril White: [00:42:06] phagial Orrin. He's an African tacho and the wife says, Oh,
[00:42:11] Brian Beckcom: [00:42:11] bullshit.
[00:42:12] Cyril White: [00:42:12] Tasha. She's like, no, he's not, he's not very dark. And then the husband goes male tall, fat, or watch a doll.
[00:42:22] He has no hair. If he had some hair, then I would know. And so then the elevator door opens and I stepped back. I was like, . And I was like, no, no, no, my friend I'm American, then Michael Jackson elevate. And they're looking at me like, Oh
[00:42:42] Brian Beckcom: [00:42:42] God, what a great story. Kinda
[00:42:45] Cyril White: [00:42:45] size New York. Not black enough.
[00:42:48] Brian Beckcom: [00:42:48] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:42:50] Cyril White: [00:42:50] It looks like an
[00:42:51] Brian Beckcom: [00:42:51] African Tasha. Like,
[00:42:53] Cyril White: [00:42:53] why are you tripping, man? What does that even matter?
[00:42:57] Brian Beckcom: [00:42:57] Oh, man, that is not as a wholesome [00:43:00] story. I love that. Well, you know, and that, and that, and I think that shows that, you know, some people that have the. Skin melatonin than I do. They don't differentiate between a white skin, black guy and a dark skin, black guy, but there's discrimination within the black community too, as well.
[00:43:18] And that's something that a lot of people in my community or whatever the heck you want to call it, I don't really consider myself a member of any particular community other than the human race.
[00:43:28] Cyril White: [00:43:28] Amen. Human rights.
[00:43:30] Brian Beckcom: [00:43:30] Yeah. But you know what I'm talking about? Like, like they don't see. That really dark skinned brothers.
[00:43:39] Like my friend, Anthony, where I played basketball with, they get treated worse. Like they have to be especially cautious and a guy like George Foy, who's a lot darker complected.
[00:43:50] Cyril White: [00:43:50] That's what, that's what really did it. You know, that's what I, you know, I just kept saying is I may just too big and black man.
[00:43:57] You're just too big and black for [00:44:00] people to be comfortable. Just too big and black,
[00:44:04] Brian Beckcom: [00:44:04] you have to be. So, careful when you're a guy like that, you have to do things and think things and act in ways that frankly, but to make other people comfortable like you and I don't have to do you have to do that more than I do, but you know, guys like George, my friend of Boston, I have to do it a hundred percent of the time.
[00:44:26] Like a bossy set on my Facebook. He can't have a bad
[00:44:28] Cyril White: [00:44:28] day. Right. You know, let's say we're just gonna just work hard to honor his memory. Like I keep saying, you know, this from the time I found out about his death, I just kept thinking, you know, what could I do? And then I got started getting calls from media to do interviews, and I just kept thinking, what can I do?
[00:44:49] And, you know, I talk with his brother and just thinking, you know, It's so important. What I'm saying about this bridge [00:45:00] building thing, and just looking at the root of what I feel caused this problem is just this that continues to cause these problems. It's just this divide between what see, listen, what seems to be what seems to be black and white people, but it's really right and wrong people battle against black and white it's happening.
[00:45:25] Brian Beckcom: [00:45:25] Between
[00:45:25] Cyril White: [00:45:25] whites and blacks,
[00:45:27] Cyril White: [00:45:27] based on a matter of right and wrong. And that's what I refuse.
[00:45:32] Brian Beckcom: [00:45:32] I refuse
[00:45:34] Cyril White: [00:45:34] to let this become a thing that is about race or between races. I refuse, like I spoke about the black lives issue earlier. This has to be about right and wrong. And everybody that we talked to along the way that has to be their approach, you know?
[00:45:51] Yes, black people will benefit from this, but humanity, well benefit from the world being better.
[00:45:58] Brian Beckcom: [00:45:58] That's right. And that's what [00:46:00] a boy, what a, what a great way to put it. We will not get where we want to get until people that are not the victims of this are just as offended. As people that are. So until people that, and I love the way you say that, because this is not at the end of the day, it's not a black and white thing.
[00:46:21] It's a human thing. It's a, how are we going to treat our fellow human beings? What are we going to do? When we see a community that's struggling, how are we going to react to that? Are we going to react to that? with hate and anger. Are we going to react to that with love and compassion? That to me is the, is, is the real question that we're looking at right now, the way you put it was even better, but, but I could not agree with you more cereal.
[00:46:48] So tell us real quick. So to God, be the glory is your basketball program. for people watching on YouTube, there's the banners behind sterile. So you can see it. How can people, support. [00:47:00] What you're doing, how can people support your efforts to build these bridges and stuff?
[00:47:06] Cyril White: [00:47:06] I appreciate that. Well, you know, we have, have it set up on our website is TGB TG sports.com.
[00:47:15] And you know, you can Google search to God, be the glory sports, and go to our webpage. we have. You know, all of the programs we have attribute, we have attribute to George on the page there kind of talks about his, involvement with us, what he did with us, and just kind of starts to talk about we're going to do some special programs in his memory, of course, with his family's blessing.
[00:47:38] So, you know, and there's a lot of other information about, you know, what I've done in my career, what to God be the glory. So, yeah, you can take some time to spend on the webpage and tell you how you can be involved and support.
[00:47:51] Brian Beckcom: [00:47:51] Nice. So it's T GBT to God be the glory, sports.com. That's your program right now.
[00:47:58] Let let's let, before [00:48:00] I let you go. And I've been, we've almost, we've almost got a full hour. Sorry. I know, I know you're a busy guy. I really appreciate your time, but
[00:48:06] Cyril White: [00:48:06] I gotta ask you this question
[00:48:09] Brian Beckcom: [00:48:09] because you probably know more about it than most. What are we looking like in terms of basketball? You know, in the next two or three months in the fall, like, and I'm talking specifically in relation to what are you, what are you hearing right
[00:48:22] Cyril White: [00:48:22] now?
[00:48:23] Well, you know,
[00:48:24] Brian Beckcom: [00:48:24] I miss the heck out of basketball. I gotta be honest with you. I miss it.
[00:48:28] Cyril White: [00:48:28] I know, I know, you know, there's a, the guys, a couple of guys have been working out shoe shoes, right. I bumped into James, James harden and Daniel House last week, working out here, Austin Rivers was in the gym earlier today.
[00:48:42] So I know these guys that are trying to come back. What I've heard is that they're going to do something down at Disney and July. Okay. End of July. They're talking to some plans about creating a bubble, like the bubble boy. You remember that guy?
[00:48:58] Brian Beckcom: [00:48:58] Yeah.
[00:48:59] Cyril White: [00:48:59] They're [00:49:00] talking about putting the game inside of some bubble down on the Disney property, late July, players.
[00:49:07] They want to play, they want to get back to it, but unless there's a real plan of safety to where they feel like they can't expose their families when they returned back home, some guys is still skeptical. Chris Paul Damian, Damian Lillard, they've been realised spoken about that. Yeah, anytime God's just trying to stay in shape and everybody's itching to get back out there.
[00:49:29] Fans there's a itch.
[00:49:32] Brian Beckcom: [00:49:32] Yeah. My son, my 16 year old son is going into his junior year and he's the, you know, for basically two months, there was no basketball, but know he's working out at the house and trying to stay in shape and stuff. But it just yesterday when had his first training session and it was an outdoor basketball court with his trainer.
[00:49:50] So. It looks like they'll at least be able to do some of that. but you know, I'll be, I'll be honest with you, Sarah. I'm a little bit worried that if we don't get [00:50:00] this, coronavirus under control and not have a basketball season for high school and college, you know,
[00:50:06] Cyril White: [00:50:06] I believe thing.
[00:50:08] Brian Beckcom: [00:50:08] Yeah. And even if we do, I can, I can see a situation where like, if they get fast acting tests or something like every player, coach and ref gets tested before every single game or something
[00:50:18] Cyril White: [00:50:18] that.
[00:50:20] Brian Beckcom: [00:50:20] It's going to change for sure. But, well, that's good news. That's good to hear that they might be doing some, at the end of July. We'll see. man, I'm glad we finally got a chance to do this. I'm sorry, personally to you, cause I know you knew George, and I'm also sorry for his family. I really appreciate all the stuff you've done by talking to the New York times and the other media sources, to, to let people know that this was a real human being that this happened to and, In any way.
[00:50:52] I, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you coming on the podcast. I know you've got a lot of stuff going on, so [00:51:00] thank you very much. My friend, I'm looking forward to, to get together before, too long, right?
[00:51:04] Cyril White: [00:51:04] Appreciate it, man. To God, be the glory. Thanks for having me. And like I said, man made the memory of George Lloyd.
[00:51:11] Brian Beckcom: [00:51:11] blessed. Amen.