College sports teams follow NBA & MLB, skip practice for BLM protests
Schools are following the lead of multiple professional sports leagues, who have postponed games or held boycotts
Multiple college football teams canceled practice in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake.
College football teams across the country canceled practices Thursday and Friday in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old man in Kenosha, Wisconsin who was shot during an attempted arrest on August 23.
Boston College, Western Kentucky University, and many more teams chose not to take the field in an effort to raise awareness and to further the discussion in America about race relations. Some players have organized a Black Lives Matter protest in union with College Athlete Unity, a group that encourages student-athletes to advocate for social justice issues.
“It is unacceptable that Black Americans continue to be disproportionately affected by police brutality. As college athletes, we have been given a platform and it is imperative that we speak out against injustice,” CAU founder and Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds said.
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Boston College football chose to hold team discussions on how to change a society they see as racially unjust rather than practicing.
“Instead of practicing, the team met together as student-athletes and coaches spoke about educating one another, maintaining social dialogue to help bring our community together, and invoking change in our society,” an official statement from the team read.
Western Kentucky University’s football team took a similar approach and also held discussions concerning the racial climate in America during the allotted practice time.
“We had a team meeting this afternoon regarding the current events in our country. We had very constructive conversation among our players and coaches,” WKU head coach Tyson Helton said. “I made the decision to call off tonight’s practice so our current focus could remain on these issues. We will plan to get back on the field tomorrow and continue having these important conversations as a team going forward.”
Oklahoma State also reportedly canceled practice to hold a team meeting.
The University of Mississippi football team can be seen on a video posted Friday protesting rather than attending practice, while images on Twitter also appear to show the Mississippi State football team doing the same.
This comes days after the NBA had multiple playoff games called off as players refused to play in protest.
The 2020 NBA playoffs were set to resume only after a Thursday morning meeting, wherein players agreed to begin playing again after the league agreed to institute several social justice initiatives including the creation of a “social justice coalition.”
Seven MLB games were also canceled as players protested.
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College Athlete Unity, Boston College Football, and Tyson Hebron did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Dean_Barker