Kansas State soccer players are using their platform to condemn a tweet made by a fellow student and demand school consequences for that student’s tweet.
The America First Students leader at the school posted a tweet Thursday congratulating George Floyd on being drug-free for a month. Floyd died May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer hit his knee with the neck for nearly nine minutes.
It doesn’t make much common sense to see how that tweet was offensive or an attention move. And several Kansas State players, athletes with much larger platforms, immediately spoke out against Jaden McNeil’s “joke” with requests for change.
The disrespect of a man who was killed will not be tolerated … does it console you to justify his death for his past? Here’s a thought responding to your second tweet. If your past justifies your death, I can give you a much longer “background sheet” for someone you support so much. https://t.co/ARYKFyNOei
– Briley Moore (@ Briley_moore22) June 26, 2020
Female basketball player Christianna Carr, a native of Manhattan, Kansas, posted a tweet on Friday afternoon that black athletes would not “play or participate in any donation or recruitment event” until the school creates a policy to expel to anyone who “openly shows racism”. ”On social media platforms and in other public situations.
Players gain the support of school leaders.
The Kansas State players immediately garnered the support of their athletic department leaders on Friday. Coach Chris Klieman tweeted: “Our program and our coaches will continue to be part of the solution when it comes to racial injustice. I love our players and they know I have my back. ”
Athletic director Gene Taylor said over the course of two tweets that “recent tweets from a K-State student that downplay Black Lives Matter’s effort and George Floyd’s tragic and senseless death are gross and totally inappropriate and do not reflect who we are like university or our athletics department.
“They do not reflect our management and objectives. We are committed to listening to and supporting our black athletes, black students, and members of our black community and to taking positive action on the issues of social injustice and racism. “
The school said it was investigating and President Richard Myers expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
A message from President Richard Myers:
The callous comments posted by a K-State student hurt our entire community. These divisive statements do not represent the values of our university. We condemn racism and intolerance in all its forms.
– K-State (@KState) June 26, 2020
We are launching an immediate review of college options. Black Lives Matter at Kansas State University and we will continue to fight for social justice.
– K-State (@KState) June 26, 2020
Group ties to white nationalism
McNeil is the former president of the K-State chapter of a group of students who support President Donald Trump. He quit Turning Point USA because he said the group “is constantly giving up cultural ground to the left.”
According to the Institute for Human Rights Research and Education, McNeil’s group of America Primero students is now part of a rebranding attempt by the alternative right-wing movement. The new renamed “Groyper” is based on the Pepe the frog meme that was adopted by far-right and white nationalists in recent years.
From the IREHR:
To implement their plan, the “groypers” have returned to campus activism. Just a month after the Groyper Summit, former Turning Point chapter leader at Kansas State University, Jaden McNeil, who became an active participant in the “groyper” activity, announced the formation of a new group, America First Students.
McNeil’s tweet is not the first time George Floyd’s offensive social media posting of a college-aged adult has been condemned. An incoming lacrosse player at Marquette had his scholarship offer rescinded after Snapchats in the wake of Floyd’s death. And an incoming freshman in Missouri terminated his enrollment after the school said he would investigate a social media video where he teased Floyd’s death with his knee to someone else’s neck.