Kansas State football players plan to boycott all activities until a student is dismissed for a tweet mocking the killing of George Floyd, according to a message several players posted on Twitter on Saturday.
“To our family at Kansas State: Due to the recent disparaging, insensitive, and unsettling comments made by a fellow student, we as a football team, after consultation with students from campus organizations as well as students from the general student body, feel it is best for us to stand with the students,” the statement read. “We are demanding that Kansas State University put a policy in place that allows a student to be dismissed for displaying openly racist, threatening or disrespectful action toward a student or groups of students. We have resolved that we cannot play, practice, or meet until these demands are heard and actions taken. We love Kansas State but we must stand together and protect all students moving forward.”
Among the players to post the message was sophomore wide receiver Joshua Youngblood, who later posted to Twitter, “We not doing this for ‘clout’ no interviews, no cameras, we just want change.”
The statement stems from a tweet posted by Kansas State student Jaden McNeil on Thursday, which mocked Floyd a month after his death.
Floyd, a Black man, was killed May 25 when a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes while making an arrest. Floyd’s death sparked worldwide protests against racism and police brutality. The officer, Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, while three other officers have been charged with abetting murder and manslaughter. All four men were fired following Floyd’s death.
McNeil has since tweeted that his statement was joke and that he has received death threats and been doxed (having private information of information such as his address and phone number made public).
Following the players’ tweet, Kansas State athletics issued a statement of its own:
“K-State Athletics, along with President Myers and University leadership, respect and support our student-athletes in standing up in the fight against racism. At @KState we are a family and we will work together to make our campus community an even better place to call home.
Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor condemned McNeil’s tweet Friday, saying, “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.”