Kansas State Football Team Announces Program Protest
Mike Seals - June 28, 2020 11:07 pm
After two individual players began the charge late on Thursday night, the Kansas State football team has officially made a team-wide stance. The Wildcats have stated they will not play or practice football until their demands are met.
Student-athletes at the school began speaking out after a tweet from a K-State student that was described as “disgusting” by athletic director Gene Taylor surfaced online. All-American return man Josh Youngblood and newcomer Tee Denson initially said that they would not represent K-State anymore until change was made at the school. Now, that has spread to the entire team.
In a graphic posted by Youngblood and countless other football players at K-State, the team listed their demands. The players said until a policy is put in place that, “allows a student to be dismissed for displaying openly racist, threatening or disrespectful action toward a student or groups of students,” they will no longer participate in team activities.
“To our family at Kansas State: Due to the recent disparaging, insensitive, and unsettling comments made by a fellow student, we as a football team, after consultation with students from campus organizations, as well as students from the general student body, feel it is best for us to stand with the students,” the statement read. “We are demanding that Kansas State University put a policy in place that allows a student to be dismissed for displaying openly racist, threatening or disrespectful action toward a student or groups of students.
“We have resolved that we cannot play, practice, or meet until these demands are heard and actions taken. We love Kansas State but we must stand together and protect all students moving forward.”
The official statement by the football team comes a day after student-athletes of all sports made stances on Friday. Players on the women’s basketball team for K-State released a statement on Friday saying that they would not participate in team activities, as well as donor or recruiting events until they saw change at the school. Men’s basketball players DaJuan Gordon and Antonio Gordon also announced they would not play for head coach Bruce Weber’s program until a response was made by the school.
As players were initially making comments about the tweet on Friday morning, head football coach Chris Klieman took to Twitter to back his players. In a tweet, Klieman said that K-State would, “continue to be a part of the solution.”
“Our program and our coaches will continue to be a part of the solution when it comes to racial injustice,” Klieman’s tweet read. “I love our players and they know I have their backs.”
As of the time of publication of this story, no decision on the incident had been announced by K-State. However, the school did say it was launching an immediate review of the university’s options.