Greg Harbut, the Black owner of a thoroughbred horse about to race in the Kentucky Derby, is under pressure to pull out of the event amid continued protests following the killing of Breonna Taylor during a police raid six months ago. The racetrack Churchill Downs and the location of Taylor's death are both in Louisville.
Harbut has been called upon by protesters to show solidarity and boycott the derby, but he said he still plans to race in what has been called one of the world's "whitest" sports.
"We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement, we want justice for Breonna Taylor, but being one of the rare African Americans, I believe our participation brings a strong message in the movement of diversity in inclusion in the racing industry but on the platform of what this world needs right now," Harbut told Inside Edition.
The derby is usually held in May but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now scheduled to take place on Saturday and without any spectators.
Protesters have already made their presence known at the track. They covered the "Churchill Downs" sign with Taylor's image, and are also expected to show up at the race.
One reason Harbut feels so strongly about staying in the race is his family history. He's a third generation horseman. His great-grandfather was on the cover of the Saturday evening post in 1941 with the legendary Man o' War.
"We honestly feel like our presence in this race is honoring not only Breonna Taylor but all of those who have struggled," Harbut said.