Kansas State Wildcats Football Team Demands Policy Changes After Racist Student Tweet
The tweet, which made fun of George Floyd's death, has the Kansas school in an uproar
Days after a Kansas State University posted a tweet making light of the death of George Floyd, the Wildcats football team is doubling down on demands that must be met before they will return to practice, meetings, and — once they become a reality — games. Among those demands is for the university to put a policy in place to expel any students who display “openly racist, threatening or disrespectful” actions towards fellow students.
— Jonathan Alexander🦍 (@CatchaplayJ) June 27, 2020
The tweet in question, posted by Jaden McNeil and since deleted, read as follows:
Congratulations to George Floyd on being drug free for an entire month!
McNeil, who is the president of the America First Students group, a controversial student organization he founded last year, has doubled down on the posting, claiming that he was “forced” to delete it:
My account was just locked again (check my Telegram) and I was forced to delete the original Tweet about George Floyd. Unreal.
— Jaden McNeil (@JadenPMcNeil) June 28, 2020
Kansas State tweeted on Friday that it would be investigating the incident, but did not commit to any form of action in relation to its posting:
We are launching an immediate review of the university’s options. Black Lives Matter at Kansas State University and we will continue to fight for social justice.
— K-State (@KState) June 26, 2020
That appears to not be enough for the Wildcats athletic community; football coach Chris Klieman tweeted in support of his players on Friday, saying that he supports them in their anger towards McNeil’s post:
Our program and our coaches will continue to be part of the solution when it comes to racial injustice. I love our players and they know I have their backs.
— Chris Klieman (@CoachKli) June 26, 2020
And Athletic Director Gene Taylor called the tweet “disgustingly inappropriate” in a tweet of his own:
Recent tweets from a K-State student downplaying the Black Lives Matter effort and the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd are disgusting and totally inappropriate and not reflective of who we are as a University or our Athletic Department.
— Gene Taylor (@KSTATEADGT) June 26, 2020
Before the statement was pushed out by multiple players, several had tweeted their own disgust at the post; defensive back Tee Denson said point blank that he would not play for a program that “tolerates ignorance such as this,” referring to the original tweet, which he retweeted.
— tee (@teedenson) June 26, 2020
As protests erupted around the country and the Black Lives Matter movement took center stage following the death of Floyd, the crackdown on tweets making fun of or showing disdain towards the movement has been swift. However, Kansas State’s response has not been swift enough, at least for its football team, one of the school’s most successful athletic organizations.
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