ESPN+ is premiering a new documentary on the movement created by Jerry Francois and other Black distance runners who have pledged to “Run with Maud” at the 50th NYC Marathon in November in memory of Ahmaud Arbery, and as a reminder to all about the dangers associated with being a Black man in America.
Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot by Travis McMichael on Feb. 23, 2020, in Brunswick, Ga. McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, pursued Arbery and attempted to make a citizen’s arrest of the 25-year-old Georgia native. Arbery went out for a jog that day and never made it home, as he was chased down by the McMichaels and William Bryan, a third man who joined the pursuit and took a video of the shooting on his cellphone.
The three men were indicted on felony murder charges in June of 2020, along with several other charges. All three pled not guilty one month later. Jury selection for the state trial began earlier this month.
All three men were also indicted by a grand jury in April of this year, on hate crime and kidnapping charges. The Department of Justice announced that the three men had “used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race.” On May 11, each of the suspects pleaded not guilty in federal court, and are set to face trial for for those federal charges in Feb. 2022.
The documentary showcases the efforts by Francois and a new generation of Black runners all over America in their attempt to help bring awareness to the killing and to help pursue justice. It can be viewed exclusively on ESPN+ on October 29. Former Falcons running back Warrick Dunn narrates the documentary. Sign up for ESPN+ here to watch the documentary.
The Ahmaud Arbery killing shook the country, and especially the community here in Atlanta and in Georgia as a whole. It served as a sobering reminder about just how far we have to go as a country and as a society in valuing the lives of others, regardless of race.
Arbery was a 25-year-old man with his whole life in front of him, and it was all taken away in the blink of an eye, on what must have seemed to him like any other day. He became just one name on a laundry list of innocent Black people unnecessarily and brutally killed, along with Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Freddie Gray, Breonna Taylor and so many others. The lives lost serve as a stark reminder as to why the Black Lives Matter movement is so important. Falcons defensive lineman Allen Bailey wore Arbery’s name on his helmet during the 2020 season as the team tried to call attention to racial injustice, and the team
The idea that we should all be able to leave our homes in the morning and not have to face the threat of being killed before we come home at night should not be considered a privilege. The fact that it’s not an undisputed, inalienable right for all underlines an immense problem in society that requires us all to strive to fix it.
Ahmaud Arbery left his home to go for a jog on the morning of Feb. 23, 2020, and he did not live to see Feb. 24. His “crime” was nothing more than being a Black man.