Former WSU linebacker and Falcons rookie Ivan McLennan talks about being black in America

RACE IN AMERICA is not a grainy film from the 1960s. It’s the here and now as this heartbreaking week in Dallas, Baton Rouge and the Twin Cities has illustrated. Recently graduated Washington State rush linebacker and Atlanta Falcons rookie Ivan McLennan this morning wrote a series of tweets that offer insight to the frustrations and fears in the African American community.

McLennan is from Hawthorne, Calif., located immediately south of Los Angeles and west of Compton. For decades, the L.A. area has been on the forefront of the divide between black and white in the United States.

What makes the high energy, uber-positive McLennan’s tweets especially notable is that they speak to what’s underneath the surface of an everyday life. A perusal of his previous tweets is focused on family, friends, WSU, the NBA, and his preparations for Falcons training camp later this month.

The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philander Castile broke the chain of normalcy. Yesterday morning McLennan tweeted “truly sad” and “praying for my people.” And today he went into depth on his concerns. Here are the rest of the tweets in the string:

FORMER COUGAR DEFENSIVE back B.J. Williams echoed the theme on Facebook yesterday afternoon. He encouraged non-people-of-color to stand up for justice by financially supporting black-led organizations, hosting racism training, and having conversations about race. “Allies from the ‘privilege’ are some of the most important tools we all can use. You don’t want to hear about POC plight anymore? Here's your chance to help eradicate it. ‘Squeaky wheel gets the oil’,” he said.


An organization called the Assist the Office Foundation provides immediate assistance to the family's of fallen police officer’s. To donate, go to

Actress Issa Rae has set up a fund here to assist Alton Sterling's five children and writer/director Xavier Burgin has set up a fund here for Philando Castile's family. 


Cougfan Top Stories