Longhorn football players ask University of Texas to get rid of 'Eyes of Texas,' create more inclusive campus
Some Texas football players, joined by other athletes, have pledged to boycott recruiting and alumni events if the university fails to make a series of changes to address the campus' history of racial injustice.
Defensive lineman Marqez Bimage, wide receiver Brennan Eagles, and defensive backs Josh Thompson and Caden Sterns posted the statement nearly simultaneously Friday afternoon, along with the hashtag #WeAreOne. Several others followed suit.
"The recent events across the country regarding racial injustice have brought to light the systemic racism that has always been prevalent in our country as well as the racism that has historically plagued our campus," the statement published on Twitter said. "We aim to hold the athletic department and university to a higher standard by not only asking them to keep their promise of condemning racism on our campus, but to go beyond this by taking action to make Texas more comfortable and inclusive for the black athletes and the black community that has so fervently supported this program."
“What starts here changes the world” #WeAreOne https://t.co/QPIuSQWqFt— Marqez Bimage (@Marqez Bimage) 1591988404.0
The statement went on to say that players will continue to participate in required activities for the upcoming season, such as practices and workouts, but they will not participate in recruiting new players without "an official commitment from the university" that their demands will be addressed or implemented before the fall semester.
Texas football player for a couple years, but Black forever— Jordan Whittington (@Jordan Whittington) 1591991456.0
Their demands for the university are as follows:
- Renaming buildings on campus that are currently named after racists
- Adding more diverse statues on campus created by artists who are people of color
- Requiring incoming freshmen to complete training on the campus' racist history and specific organizations that still perpetuate racism
- Creating outreach programs for inner cities
Demands for Texas Athletics are:
- Adding a black athletic history exhibit to The Hall of Fame
- Donating 0.5% of Texas Athletics' annual earnings to black organizations like the Black Lives Matter movement
- Rename part of the stadium after Julius Whittier, UT's first black football player
They also want to scrap the Eyes of Texas fight song and stop requiring athletes to sing the song, which was originally performed at a minstrel show with performers in black face.
This is a tour stop on Dr. Gordon’s Racial Geography Tour at the Texas Cowboy Pavilion. He discusses the origins of… https://t.co/xbHDh4CIBg— UT Liberal Arts (@UT Liberal Arts) 1591639805.0
This story has been updated from the original.
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