UNC coach Roy Williams makes it clear he wants Silent Sam gone

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Roy Williams made it clear Friday that if he had his way, Silent Sam would not have a place on North Carolina's campus.

Citing the incredible divisiveness of the statue, along with the initial reasoning and wording behind its installation, Roy said "I don't think we should have it ... I wish it wasn't here."

Williams said he also fully supports his players getting involved in activism regarding Silent Sam, as long as they don't do anything that "surprises" him.

Currently, four Tar Heels - Garrison Brooks, KJ Smith, Brandon Robinson and Sterling Manley - have signed their name to a statement and petition calling for the removal of Silent Sam from campus.

ABC11 spoke to Manley on Friday afternoon at the Smith Center about the reasoning behind his decision to join the protest:

Williams was also asked Friday whether his mentor Dean Smith's track record of social activism had played any role in his opinions about the statue.

Williams said no, that his feelings and decision to make them known were his own.

All that said, Williams was clear that he knows the university is hamstrung by state laws regarding the removal of the statue. He said he feels worst for UNC Chancellor Carol Folt, whom he said is in a no-win situation.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.