Houston sports world pays tribute to George Floyd

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The sports world in Houston has been showing up big for George Floyd.

Monday night, NRG Park turned crimson and gold, the colors of Yates High School, where Floyd played football and graduated.

The complex said in a tweet, "We turn NRG Park crimson and gold to pay tribute to George Floyd, send our support to his family and our solidarity for meaningful change."

The Houston Astros also posted powerful photos on Facebook. In one of the images, Floyd's framed picture is on the field next to a candle with lilies.

Minute Maid Park also shared Floyd's picture and the message "Black Lives Matter" on the jumbotron.

The University of Houston men's basketball team paid their respects to Floyd at the public viewing Monday afternoon at the Fountain of Praise Church in southwest Houston.

The university canceled classes so all students could go to the viewing and reflect on what's happening in our world right now.

Floyd grew up in the Third Ward, not far from UH. That has had an impact on some of the players.

"Just brings the community together even more, just knowing he grew up in Third Ward, right down the street from where we go to school at, so it uplifts you even more to come out here and show love, really," said player Quentin Grimes.

"A family is grieving. That's one of the main reasons why I wanted our kids to pay our respects to them. What this has done, though, has awakened the world," said head coach Kelvin Sampson.

Sampson said in the days following Floyd's death, he has been deeply moved by how his players are educating themselves about the history of racism in this country.

"Oh, the stories that came out. We have all kinds of people in our program, white people, black people, people of color. Some of the most emotional things I read were from some of our white folks. That's what's emboldened me and got me excited. How people have taken the time to educate themselves on what has happened in our country," Sampson said.

"No matter black, white, the race doesn't matter. You have to respect everybody for who they are and love everybody, you know? When someone has their life taken away like George Floyd....it's just a really sad thing going on right now," Grimes added.

Sampson and his players said they hope these conversations are only the beginning of the changes to come.

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See how Houstonians showed up strong for George Floyd, and made powerful statements with their clothing and actions, without saying a word.

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