BOURBONNAIS — His hometown under siege, Kyle Long defended Charlottesville, Va., on Sunday, offering his condolences for lives lost during a white nationalist rally.
“Regardless of where it’s happening, injustice in the world we live in, in any place, is injustice to humanity,” the Bears guard said after practice. “And it’s a threat to the freedoms we have.
“Obviously, it’s a small percentage of people involved who are blatantly in the wrong, and we need to do our best as good folks and continue to outnumber and express our opinions and act accordingly when given the opportunity to.”
Saturday, one person was killed and 19 were injured when a car sped into a throng of counter-protestors who were opposed to the “Unite the Right” rally. Two state troopers were later killed in helicopter crash.
“Hopefully we can continue to do the right thing as a whole,” Long said. “Obviously there’s gonna be people that don’t follow the same suit. Don’t be those folks.”
Long’s family moved from Los Angeles to the Charlottesville area when Kyle was 5. His brother Chris starred at the University of Virginia there.
“Coming from Charlottesville, it’s a quiet town,” he said. “The loudest it gets is on Saturdays at Scott Stadium. I’d say it was shocking to see that, but, you know, there’s bad things that happen all the time and, like I said, prayers to those who are involved.”
He’s had teammates ask him about his hometown the last 24 hours.
“Obviously, people ask, ‘You’re from Charlottesville?’” Long said. “It kinda leaves a bad taste in their mouths thinking that one of their guys is from Charlottesville, where they see all these rallies and stuff happening.
“Like I said, don’t let a few bad apples ruin what is really true about Charlottesville and that area — there’s good folks there. I grew up with really good people. I got buddies are in the police department. I got a lot of family and friends out there.
“It’s rough. It’s a strange time. Like I said, the more we can do right to each other and act accordingly when presented with the situation, then the better off we’ll be.”