Illinois State offensive coordinator Kurt Beathard left his position with the program last week, telling a local newspaper that his departure came in the wake of his posting a sign with an All Lives Matter message on his office door.
According to The Pantagraph, Beathard’s office door sign read “All Lives Matter to Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.” Officials wouldn’t provide comment on how or whether that message had anything to do with Beathard’s departure from the program.
Earlier this year, athletics director Larry Lyons found himself in hot water for using the phrase “All Redbird Lives Matter” in a video conference with student-athletes. That comment led some student-athletes to temporarily boycott team activities and practices, and was a rallying cry for a student-athlete-led March for a Black Voices event that was held earlier this month.
In response to the outcry, the athletics department released its action plan for social change, which said it was “committed to growth and learning for the entire athletics staff,” among many other things.
The Pantagraph, citing sources close to the football program, reported that the back-and-forth over Black Lives Matter messaging escalated recently, when a poster emblazoned with the slogan was removed from the Redbirds’ locker room. Beathard told the newspaper that he wasn’t involved in the removal of the poster from the locker room.
Following the news of Beathard’s departure on Wednesday, ISU announced that Ghaali Muhammad-Lankford and C.J. Irvin would serve as co-offensive coordinators.