Why Kansas State’s student athletes are taking a stand against racism

Why Kansas State’s student athletes are taking a stand against racism

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Student athletes at Kansas State are taking a stand against racism. They’ve had enough.

Players from across sports at the university have vowed not to play once their respective seasons roll around unless the school takes swift and strong action against students who display racism.

In particular, student athletes are demanding the school punish one student who posted a tweet mocking George Floyd’s death.

This uprising from student athletes was sparked by a tweet from Kansas State student Jaden McNeil, who said that George Floyd was “drug free” for an entire month.

Floyd was killed on May 25 by a police officer who knelt on his neck for just under nine minutes.

A day after McNeil posted this tweet, the university tweeted that it was “launching an immediate review” of their options in handling McNeil.

That wasn’t good enough. It presented no consequences for McNeil, who was not immediately punished for his racist tweet. Because of that, players took things into their own hands.

They began tweeting the school directly, asking for them to do something about what McNeil said.

They eventually grouped together to issue a statement specifically outlining what they’d like to see done.

They demanded the school create a policy expelling students who display racism. They also demanded that Jaden McNeil receive “strong consequences” for his tweet.

And if they don’t get what they want, they simply won’t play.

This is what accountability looks like. These student athletes are using the power they have to influence meaningful change at their university.

These athletes are prepared to sacrifice potential careers and livelihoods in order to do what they feel is right and that’s admirable. It’s much like what students athletes did at Missouri in 2015 and at Nebraska in 2016.

What’s unfortunate is that they even have to do this at all. It’s not an easy burden to bear. They shouldn’t have to do it. But here they are. This wouldn’t be a thing if Kansas State moved to punish McNeil immediately. But this is exactly what these student athletes hope to change.

Hopefully, it not only sparks change at Kansas State but also on campuses across the country.

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