Social injustice is one of the major causes for action in this country, not just today, but it has been for a while. Sports is not immune. Joining NBA teams and other college and pro football programs, the Kentucky team walked out of practice on Thursday in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Blake was shot seven times in his back by Kenosha Police earlier in the week. Since then, demonstrations have been occurring across the country.
In college football, Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Boston College, and South Florida have been among teams to opt-out of practice in solidarity in the fight for racial justice and against police brutality.
KENTUCKY FOOTBALL RESPONSE
Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops made a statement regarding his players’ decision:
As you can see by the photos in the tweet, the players gathered together, and also put out a statement. A Kentucky spokesperson had this to say, confirming the actions on Thursday:
“I can confirm the Kentucky Football team decided to leave the practice field and are meeting right now to discuss more ways to promote their influence and be a part of effective change.”
A New Era
Social injustice is a cause that demands action. The time for silence is over. Many athletes and celebrities have led the charge, causing people to stage boycotts of whatever it is they represent.
The “shut up and dribble” idea has to go. The Wildcats choosing to use their platform to effect change is something I support wholeheartedly. Now is not the time to stand idly by.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers head coach Tyson Helton also got their program involved:
“We had very constructive conversation among our players and coaches. 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.”
Head coaches across the country have stood beside their teams in support of their decisions to either participate or not in the various protests. Mark Stoops was no different.
“They are knowledgeable and courageous, with a passion to make an impact. They have a commitment to being leaders of character as players, students and citizens.”
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