Now more than a month removed from the tragic police shootings in Dallas, police chief David Brown is gearing up for the Texas Longhorns football with a gift from head coach Charlie Strong and the 'Horns:
Clearly, Brown has been keeping up with the recruiting efforts of Strong that sparked the wave of dabs from the head coach back in late January and early February, but if we might offer one small critique -- any Longhorn dab is better with at least one hand doing the hook 'em 'Horns, a la Strong himself.
Despite the light moments with his players and targets during the recruiting process, Strong takes the issue of community-police relations and social change overall seriously enough to hold a meeting with his team after the shootings took place.
"I said to our players, 'It's all about uniting. We have a platform, but we also have to have the right voice, we have to say the right things,'" Strong said in a Sportscenter appearance in July. "So you have to be careful about what you say on Twitter, but we also know this -- our voice carries a lot of weight and so when we're out there speaking, it's all about us being together, uniting together."
So Strong stopped by the DPD headquarters while he was in town for Big 12 Media Days to express his support for and solidarity with the officers:
"We can't be afraid to speak up and it's all about us just uniting together, because if we unite together and stand together, it's amazing what we can change and those changes can happen," Strong said. "As athletes, we have a platform and a strong voice, so don't be afraid to speak."
In order to effect that change, Strong knows that there has to be dialogue and so he encourages his players to come sit down with him to talk about any social issues that they have on their minds.
"We have to be smart about how we handle things because change is going to happen, but the only way that change is going to happen is if there is dialogue and there's got to be communication and we can't be afraid to say what we want to say."
Sophomore linebacker Malik Jefferson is one player who has been outspoken when told that he needs to stick to football, but since change is about more than words, Jefferson showed up to the summit meeting about community-police relations that featured Austin police chief Art Acevedo and former 'Horns Emmanuel Acho and Fozzy Whittaker.
In fact, it was the two Texas Exes who organized the forum.
"The biggest thing for me was that I was tired of seeing the hopelessness, the despair in the tweets, the Facebook posts. People said, ‘I don't know where to go from here,'" Acho told SI. "And my athletic background has told me if you have a problem with something you fix it, you don't sit there and complain about it. I hope this was the beginning of fixing it."
Jefferson and Omenihu even stuck around after it was finished to share a few words with Acevedo.
Charles Omenihu and Malik Jefferson with Austin PD chief Art Acevedo pic.twitter.com/FWTJMRJ3E1— Ryan Autullo (@AutulloAAS) July 15, 2016
And despite a recent departure from the program following an indefinite suspension for violating team rules, former wide receiver DeAndre McNeal received the message to the extent that he stopped by the police memorial for the fallen officers in Dallas to show his support.
If Strong has anything to do with it, what starts here will truly change the world.