As protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd continue, college student-athletes are stepping into a new role — that of the activist.
Student-athletes in high profile sports at powerful programs have spoken out about what they view to be evidence of racism present on the campuses where they play, and have urged, and in some cases, already won changes from administrators.
Clemson, for instance, moved quickly to rename the school’s honors college after former star athletes Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins joined a student-led petition to remove John C. Calhoun’s name from the building (Calhoun, in addition to being the nation’s seventh vice president, was a slavery advocate and secessionist).
Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports reports that student-athletes at the University of Texas are seeking similar changes, as well as the addition of a Black athletic history exhibit at the school hall of fame and the replacement of the song “Eyes of Texas” at athletic events. Those student-athletes have said they would continue to participate and prepare for the 2020 season, but have also stated their intent not to participate in recruiting or alumni activities until those demands are met.
Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte responded to student-athletes in a social media post.