BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Many important conversations are being held across the country right now as people fight for equality and injustice following the death of George Floyd.
The McCalls a family is bonded by basketball have always had these conversations at home, throughout the nationwide unrest, they have begun to share their voice outside of their own walls. Together sharing a strong message.
"As a parent, you feel proud of the fact that your kids have made it this far. Because knowing that some of the things that could possibly happen," Greg McCall said.
Nearly every member of this basketball loving family has had an impact on the court. Now, they are focused on having one in their communities.
"To be able to know that people listen to us, listen to our family, that we have respect and Bakersfield, and that people can see that we're trying to positively impact the city, the state in this country," Erica McCall said.
Erica, former Indiana Fever forward, is one of six siblings and her sister DeWanna Bonner both play professionally. She's using that platform to make her voice heard.
"When you see people that are ignorant to what we're going through, reaching out to them doesn't have to be, you know, derogatory or it doesn't have to be in a negative light. It's just all about sharing the education with them sharing your own experiences, and hopefully, it's something that can reflect on in that they can change their mindsets about it," Erica said.
Hed dad, Cal State Bakersfield women's basketball coach Greg McCall recognizes the need for change in this country even having seen strides taken from when he grew up in Alabama during the 70's and 80's.
"Still gets me really emotional because I really still don't have an answer. The other day I felt helpless because if they comply with officer look at what happened to George. What happened to Mr. Floyd," Greg said.
"Where I grew up. You know, it was definitely black and white. There was nothing in between looking at today and looking at how things are going and protests are going, you see all the different colors, different races, got white, you got black, marching together, it really feels good to see that happen."
For Erica, growing up black had its own challenges.
"Being black and in Bakersfield. I can't say that it was necessarily tough. My dad had a different, you know, experiencing growing up. But for me it was always just being that 1% in class, it's a lot of pressure to live in Bakersfield. but as a black person, just always making sure you do the right thing so that people can look in you a certain kind of way so that you can make it far because I had to do the extra steps. You know, we say as black people, we have a disadvantage, we have to do more," Erica said.
"And so I try To carry myself with that, with that pride with that dignity that I am a black man living in Bakersfield that that you can be successful but at the same time you still have to know that you are a black man and that you are still being sometimes critiqued on a lot of different things that you that you that you do.," Greg said.
As communities nationwide protest for racial injustice this family believes that George Floyd, and countless others, are leaving a legacy of change.
"I've always tried to do with my old family and my kids especially is trying to keep them out of harm's way. Not have to have them experience a lot of the things I've went through and that's something that you always want from your kids you want better," McCall said.
"Starts with change from up top and then it trickles down to the bottom. Once we get changed up top, I think we'll see a huge turn and how just how black people are treated across the world because just everyday in our everyday lives we're scared," Erica said.
As Coach McCall continues conversations with his team of female athletes, Erica is ensuring her own voice as a black woman isn't silenced.
"We're just as vulnerable. And I hope people can recognize that in the black woman all across this country, that we stay empowered that we stay united, we stay together. And with that, I think that changed income and that will definitely show a lot of people that together as one, we can do it," Erica said.