MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – Kansas State soccer players say they will boycott all team activities until administrators create a policy that allows a student to be expelled for “overtly racist, threatening, or disrespectful actions.”
The move that most players announced on social media Saturday follows a student tweet about George Floyd’s death that sparked outrage on campus.
“We demand that Kansas State University establish a policy that allows a student to be fired for displaying openly racist, threatening, or disrespectful actions toward a student or groups of students,” the players said in the letter they published. “We have resolved that we cannot play, practice or comply until these demands are heard and action is taken. We love Kansas State, but we must come together and protect all students in the future. “
On Thursday, a month after Floyd, a black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee to his neck for nearly eight minutes, student Jaden McNeil tweeted, “Congratulations to George Floyd on be drug free for a whole month! “
University officials have said they are exploring their options. for action after the tweet. University President Richard Myers said Friday that “the divisive statements do not represent the values of our university.”
McNeil describes himself as the founder of a conservative group called America First Students, which according to the state of Kansas is not currently registered on campus due to lack of membership. America First Students had already sparked student anger over past statements made by McNeil.
McNeil previously said that America First Students is a “conservative, Christian, and dominant organization that supports President Donald Trump.”
The soccer players’ statement Saturday came a day after a pair of Kansas State basketball players and a handful of soccer players threatened a boycott if the university failed to take action. Several university athletes across the country have used their influence to advance social justice. since Floyd’s death.
Kansas State soccer players are currently not participating in any practice or training because the team’s activities were suspended earlier this month after a coronavirus outbreak within the team. Summer training is expected to resume on July 13.
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