American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Coach Carter" (2005)


Coach Carter Offers His Players the Prospect of a Better Life


[contains profanity]

Coach Carter: Let's take this time to take this time to say whatever it is we want while doors closed. You have the floor. This is about us.

Worm: Man, it's a s--t ain't about us. It's all about Coach Carter.

Jason Lyle: We're the basketball team. All I see is you on TV, getting famous, eatin' that s--t up.

Coach Carter: Is that all you see?

Worm: It's all I see?

Unidentified Player: And you ain't lyin.'

Coach Carter: Well let me tell you what I see. I see a system that's designed for you to fail. Now, I know you all like stats so let me give you some. Richmond High only graduates 50% of it's students, and of those that do graduate only 6% go to college, which tells me when I walk down these halls and look in your class rooms, maybe only one student is going to go to college.

"Well, damn, Coach Carter, if I ain't going to college where am I going to go?" Now that's a great question. And the answer for young African-American men in here is this: probably to prison.

In this county, 33% of black males between 18 and 24 get arrested. So, look at they guy on your left; now look at the guy on your right. One of you is going to get arrested. Growing up here in Richmond, you're 80% more likely to go to prison than college. Those are the numbers. Those are some stats for your ass.

Now, I want you to go home and look at your lives tonight. And look at your parents lives. And ask yourself, "Do I want better?" If the answer is yes I'll see you here tomorrow. And I promise you, I will do everything in my power to get you to college, and to a better life.

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.