Kansas State University football players announced on Saturday they were joining an ongoing boycott of the school’s athletic program. Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports reported that several Wildcats players posted an image on social media that included a statement announcing their intentions.
“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 graphic read.
The post went on to say that the players were demanding that the University develop a policy where a student could be dismissed if they were displaying openly racist behavior. The players said until the school came up with that policy, they wouldn’t meet practice or play in any games. They closed by saying that while they loved Kansas State, they felt it was their duty to protect all of its students any way they could.
The boycott stems from a post on Twitter by a Kansas State student named Jaden McNeil. The founder and president of a Trump-supporting organization, America First Students, posted a “congratulations” to George Floyd for going an entire month without drugs.
Floyd died in May after a police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest until he lost consciousness and eventually passed away. His death spawned protests in several different cities across the country, as well as several countries around the world. Floyd’s official autopsy report said he had drugs in his system at the time of his death.
The football players are the latest group of athletes to announce they are boycotting the athletic department until the school takes action against McNeil and the sentiment he posted.
On Thursday, Kansas State women’s basketball player Christianna Mae posted on Twitter that a group of Black athletes she belonged to would not participate in donor or recruiting events until the school dealth with McNeil. The Saturday social media post appears to go a step further as far as what the athletes will do if there isn’t a response from the university.
According to Sallee, the school’s athletic director, Gene Taylor, reportedly took to social media on Saturday as well and voiced his displeasure with what McNeil tweeted. Taylor said he and his administration were committed to listening to the athletes who were promising the boycott. He did not say whether Kansas State would take the steps the group asked for in its post.