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Members of the University of Texas football team say they’ll refuse to participate in donor and recruiting events on behalf of the school until a list of demands is met to address alleged racial injustices.
The players will, however, continue to practice and play in games.
That said, participation in donor and recruiting events are a very important function for college athletes and the universities they attend and play for.
The list of demands was posted to Twitter by at least two Texas football players, but according to reports, they were submitted on behalf of the entire squad. However, as The Blaze noted, thus far there is no real indication that all team members are in agreement with the demands or if anyone on the team has dissented.
Defensive lineman and linebacker Marqez Bimage was one of the players who posted the demands online.
— Marqez Bimage (@MarqezBimage_) June 12, 2020
The first demand players are making is that university officials change the name of some buildings on campus, including those named after famous earlier professors and administrators who advocated for segregation, such as Theophilus Painter and Robert Lee Moore.
In addition, the student players are demanding permanent removal of a statue of former Texas Gov. James Hogg (1891-1895), which is odd because a history of his political career claims he “was a champion of public schools, state universities, and teacher education.” Also, according to Humanities Texas, Hogg “urged the Texas legislature to pass an anti-lynching law, which it finally did in 1897.”
According to the document, students are also demanding more support for ‘racial justice issues’ on campus, as well as coursework for incoming freshmen regarding the alleged history of racism at the institution, and for some proceeds of the athletics department to be donated to “black organizations and BLM movements.”
In addition, players want the university to name “some part of the stadium after Julius Whittier (the first black football player at UT).”
The student-athletes also want the university to ditch its fight song, “The Eyes of Texas” so as to “have a new song written for us to sing.” The players add: “Do not require athletes to sing the song.”
Some people have criticized the song because they believe it is racist.
“The University of Texas, at least originally, had very clear minstrel connections,” said Ted Gordon, the vice provost for diversity, in April 2018. “(‘The Eyes of Texas’) was first sung and played at a minstrel show which featured performers in blackface.”
No one sings the song in blackface at the university today, however, and they have not in decades.
“This is definitely about minstrelsy and past racism,” Gordon said. “It’s also definitely about school pride. One question is whether it can be both those things or whether it can be one or the other.”
University officials had yet to respond publicly to players’ list of demands as of this writing. That said, players noted that the university has “acknowledging these injustices and publicly supported the rights of student-athletes using their voices to make change.”
That said, Texas Longhorns wide receiver Brennan Eagles noted on his Twitter he isn’t “going to play another snap knowing what’s going on in our society due to color and the system being broken.”
— 🦅 (@_BrennanEagles_) June 4, 2020
He didn’t elaborate.
Fans and Twitter users blasted the demands.
Or you could just go to a different University. You don’t have to be a student there. I am sure other athletes would love the opportunity.
— 🇺🇲 Chris 🇺🇲 (@PAPatriotChris) June 12, 2020
Defund the corrupt college athletics programs
— SSB🇺🇸 (@SimpleSOB) June 16, 2020
Start pulling scholarships.
— Robbob (@Robbobalooey) June 16, 2020
demands? expel them all and get new players or end the football program entirely.
— Robert (@nygreporter) June 16, 2020
So now college football sucks as much as the NFL
— Korn Wallace (@Korn_Wallace) June 16, 2020
Calling their bluff then. Shut it down. The University of Texas football players aren’t as important to society as they’ve been lead to believe.
— Conservative Psychologist (we exist!) (@AnBobsUrUncle) June 16, 2020
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