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Kansas State athletes are speaking out against racism and vowing to take action.
Many Wildcat athletes across sports at the university on Friday vowed not to play during their respective seasons unless Kansas State takes swift and strong action against students who display racism. Specifically, athletes are asking the school to punish a student who posted a tweet mocking George Floyd’s death.
K-State student Jaden McNeil tweeted on Thursday that George Floyd was “drug free” for an entire month.
A day after McNeil posted the tweet, the university tweeted a message from school president Richard Myers, who wrote that it was “launching an immediate review” of its options regarding McNeil:
"The insensitive comments posted by one K-State student hurts our entire community. These divisive statements do not represent for the values of our university. We condemn racism and bigotry in all its forms. 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."
Shortly after, several Kansas State athletes tweeted the school directly, asking the university to do something. They later tweeted a group statement, telling the university that if a policy regarding racism at the school was not created, they would not play:
"Due to recent insensitivity from Kansas State students, collectively as Black student athletes, we will NO LONGER accept these types of actions. If we do not see any change, we will not play or participate in any donor or recruiting events.
"A policy created against racism that will expel any student that openly displays racism on all platforms, such as social media, school, Aggieville and sporting events. We also need to see student Jaden McNeil receive strong consequences of his insensitive actions.
"If these actions are not taken, it is a promise that we will not play."
Kansas State football coach Chris Klieman tweeted his support on Friday, writing:
"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."
Floyd, 46, died May 25 in Minneapolis in police custody after officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds. Chauvin was fired and charged with second-degree murder, and three other officers at the scene were also fired and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.