ESPN announcer Mark Jones says he will refuse police protection at college football game

Joseph Salvador

| USA TODAY

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ESPN college football play-by-play announcer Mark Jones tweeted Thursday that he will refuse police protection on Saturday when he is scheduled to work the game between Army and No. 16 Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium.

Jones cited his own safety as the main reason he did not want an officer assigned to him.

“Saturday at my football game I’ll tell the police officer on duty to ‘protect’ me he can just take the day off,” Jones said in the tweet. “I’d rather not have the officer shoot me because he feared for his life because of my Black skin or other dumb ish.”

Jones, who has worked at ESPN since 1990, had also condemned the police Wednesday in another tweet, writing: “Police never saved me. Never helped me. Never protected me. Never taken a bullet for me. (They’ve pulled guns on me). Never kept me safe in a protest. Never stopped the racist from taking my Black Lives Matter flag off my house. I could do without em. fr.”

Jones’ tweets came after a Kentucky grand jury on Wednesday indicted just one of the three Louisville police officers involved in the March shooting death of Breonna Taylor, 26. Former Louisville detective Brett Hankison was charged with wanton endangerment.

The grand jury’s decision sparked massive pushback from the sports world, as athletes and coaches have been speaking out about racial injustice for several months. Many professional athletes and coaches expressed their disappointment in the decision as demonstrations and protests continue in Louisville.

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