BALTIMORE – Coppin State’s student-athletes had to do something on Tuesday.
They couldn’t let the horrific images of burning buildings and police cars along with looters running out of stores with armfuls of merchandise, people cutting fire-hoses and rocks being thrown at law enforcement officials being displayed on national television and not do anything about it.
Several student-athletes teamed with Coppin State student leaders and traveled the seven blocks to North and Pennsylvania avenues to assist with clean-up efforts Tuesday morning. That area was the epicenter of much of the unrest that occurred in Baltimore on Monday afternoon and evening. It was there that a CVS store was looted and set on fire.
“Cleaning up North Avenue was very important to me,” said women’s basketball junior forward Jordan Swails, who led Coppin State in scoring this past season and was named to the All-MEAC Tournament team. “I’m living on campus which means that North and Pennsylvania Avenue is in my backyard. It was very terrifying so I felt like I had to make a difference.”
A large group of students from Coppin State assisted with clean-up efforts by picking up trash, sweeping debris off of the sidewalks and uniting with one another with the same goal of showcasing the positives that the city has to offer. Tuesday afternoon on campus, Coppin State students were joined in a prayer circle by University president Dr. Mortimer Neufville.
“It was very inspirational to see how many people came out to help and show the light out of this darkness,” Swails said. “During the walk, there wasn’t much trash to pick up because the residents woke up as early as 5:00 a.m. to clean up. I was terrified (Monday) and prayed that they didn’t come onto Coppin’s campus rioting. We were told to stay in our dorms.”
Coppin State Director of Athletics Derrick K. Ramsey wasn’t surprised when he learned that several student-athletes assisted with clean-up efforts.
“I am extremely proud of our young people today,” Ramsey said. “I want to compliment my young people for doing the right thing. We believe that so goes Coppin, so goes the west side of Baltimore. This is our community: One University, one community and one city. We are Coppin Proud and Baltimore Strong.”