K-State players end threat of boycott of Floyd’s tweet

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – Kansas state soccer players canceled a threatened boycott in response to a student’s callous tweet about the death of George Floyd.


© Supplied by Associated Press
FILE – In this photo from November 16, 2019, Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman warms up his team before an NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Manhattan, Kansas. Kansas state football players say they will boycott all team activities until the administrators create a policy that would allow a student to be expelled for “overtly racist, threatening or disrespectful ”. The decision that most players announced on social media on Saturday followed a student tweet on George Floyd’s death that sparked outrage on campus. On Sunday June 28, 2020, coach Chris Klieman tweeted his support: “Racism is NOT welcome at KSTATE now or in the future. … I am delighted to help each player unite for the solution NOW, so that we can come together stronger than ever. Black Lives Matter. “(Photo AP / Orlin Wagner, file)

The decision, announced on social networks by several players, follows on from the school’s efforts to respond to diversity concerns.

“We appreciate the diligent work of our university and sports administration as we work on these important issues,” said the letter posted on Twitter. “The plans and actions announced on Wednesday are great first steps in our goal of overcoming hatred and racism on our campus, and therefore we have decided to return to training sessions with our teammates.

“However, we know that this process is far from complete and if it slows down or decreases for any reason, we will reassess the situation and our options at that time. ”

Kansas State players are not currently participating in any practice or training as the team’s activities were suspended earlier this month after an outbreak of coronavirus on the team. Summer training is expected to resume on July 13.

Last week, a month after Floyd’s death when a white Minneapolis policeman pressed his knee to the neck of the black handcuffed man, Kansas State student Jaden McNeil tweeted: “Congratulations to George Floyd for been drug free for a whole month! ”

Several soccer players immediately threatened to boycott if the university refused to take action, and basketball players and other athletes quickly joined the campaign. The football team released an official statement on Saturday calling on university president Richard Myers and other administrative staff to make significant changes to campus culture.

The school responded on Wednesday by launching a fund for diversity and education. Among other initiatives, the State of Kansas has also promised that athletes, coaches and staff will undergo mandatory diversity and inclusion training that includes monthly town hall meetings; redouble efforts to recruit candidates from diverse backgrounds for staff and coaching positions; use home games to support the Black Lives Matter movement; mark Black History Month; and transport athletes to the polling stations on polling day.

“The university is committed to developing meaningful and measurable action plans with concrete steps,” wrote Myers in an open letter on Wednesday. “These proposed measures reflect the reality that, as a government entity, we must act in accordance with the law. There have been many calls for us to expel a student who posted racist messages on social media, and although these messages are disrespectful and obnoxious, we cannot break the law. ”

Football coach Chris Klieman, who is entering his second season, said that he supports his players and that “I am delighted to help each player unite for the solution now, so that we can come together stronger.” than ever. Black lives count. ”

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