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IOWA CITY — Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery has long been a supporter of his players being individuals, having a voice and speaking out on issues when they feel it’s right.
So it makes sense that when Hawkeyes guard and sophomore-to-be Maishe Dailey made a post on Twitter earlier this month in Cleveland about an incident with police in which he said he and a group of his friends were “slammed to the ground,” McCaffery made a phone call.
After concern about Dailey’s well-being, Dailey said McCaffery offered support on how to handle what was to come with what surely was to be mixed reactions on social media.
The Beachwood, Ohio (a Cleveland suburb) native sharing his experience only was bolstered by McCaffery’s support.
“He called me probably 20 minutes after I tweeted it and talked to me for probably 10 minutes about the steps I should take and to be ready for questions when I get up here — and to be ready for everything that comes with me tweeting it,” Dailey said Sunday after the opening day of the Prime Time League. “It really did (mean a lot) because it’s hard to imagine, say Colin Kaepernick, he’s taking a punishment for speaking out and doing what he thinks is right. It’s good to have my head coach have my back, no matter what decision I make.”
Dailey was home for the NBA Finals, and said he and his friends were searching for a place to watch the Golden State Warriors take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
His experience, as he described it on Twitter:
“While walking downtown Cleveland yesterday (June 4) looking for a place to watch the Cavs game, my 7 friends and I were slammed hard on the concrete by 8 cops. Multiple times we asked “what are we being searched for,” but no response from any of them. After repeatedly being searched for 40 minutes, they let us go and said 'we thought you guys had a gun' … Thank God we made it to see the 2nd half of the Cavs game. #GoCavs”
Dailey said Sunday he and his friends filed a complaint about the incident, “and we’re going to let the system take care of it now.”
Public records requests to the City of Cleveland for the incident report and official complaint had not yet been returned at press time.
Dailey added Sunday he didn’t want to talk much about the incident anymore, preferring to put the experience behind him. But given the various publicized incidents between minorities and police in the last few years, as well as its impact on black communities across the country, Dailey said he felt compelled to share his story and experience on social media.
The reaction to his post and sharing the story was mixed, Dailey said, and that call McCaffery made prepared him well for that.
“When I posted on Twitter, I just wanted to share with the world that it’s real and it happens,” Dailey said. “It was really scary for me. I felt like I did (have a responsibility to share). My mom talked to me and said that with the platform I have now, on the Division I stage, talk for some of the kids who can’t talk and be heard.
“(The reaction) was mostly positive. Some people said I shouldn’t have tweeted it, but I think that comes. I knew it was coming.”
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