Black athletes threaten to stop playing if nothing changes following controversial statements from K-State student

This is just one of the statements put out by black K-State athletes on Friday afternoon.

Black Kansas State athletes from several sports are beginning to speak out after president of America First Students Jaden McNeil, a junior in political sciences, made a controversial tweet on Thursday.

“Congratulations to George Floyd on being drug free for an entire month!” McNeils tweet says.

It was followed by another tweet that said “People are more upset about this tweet than they are about George Floyd robbing a pregnant woman at gunpoint. BTW he died from overdosing on fentanyl and meth.”

One day later Black K-State athletes are condemning McNeil and his tweets, saying that they will not play unless something is done.

In a statement put out by multiple Black K-State athletes on social media, including junior women’s basketball guard Christianna Carr, they said they see the issue as something that they simply will not accept.

“Collectively as Black student athletes we will NO LONGER accept these types of actions. If we do not see any change, we will not participate in any donor or recruiting events,” the statement reads.

Many other Black athletes are tweeting a statement similar to Carr’s.

“We believe that all students of color athlete or not should feel comfortable and safe while walking on campus and attending or playing in sporting events,” senior defensive back Jonathan Alexander said.

Both statements had the same action plan for what must be done in order for them to play in their respective seasons.

“A policy created against racism that will expel any student that openly displays racism on all platforms such as, social media, school, Aggieville and sporting events,” the statements reads.

The statements also called for the punishment of McNeil.

“We also need to see student Jaden McNeil receive strong consequences of his insensitive actions,” the statement read.

The statements concluded by saying that Black athletes will not participate in athletic events if these requests are not met.

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Joshua Youngblood as well as freshman cornerback Tee Denson both said that they would not be playing if things continue as they are.

“[I] refuse to play for a program that tolerates ignorance such as this… @KState,” Denson said.

In a now deleted tweet Youngblood said “I’m not coming back until he kicked out”

Sophomore men’s basketball forward Antonio Gordon also said he would not play either.

“With that being said if no action is taken against the student that made these remarks on Twitter I will not be able to represent this university,” Gordon said.

Athletics director Gene Taylor has also spoken up on the issue.

“Recent tweets from a K-State student downplaying the Black Lives Matter effort and the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd are disgusting and totally inappropriate and not reflective of who we are as a University or our Athletic Department,” Taylor said in a tweet.

In a second tweet, Taylor continued.

“They are not reflective of our administration and goals. We are committed to listening and supporting our black athletes, black students and members of our black community and taking positive steps in the matters of social injustice and racism,” he said.

On behalf of President Richard Myers, a tweet from the K-State account said the university would be reviewing its options in addressing the matter, but it’s unclear exactly what that entails.

Carr and Alexander are just a few of the student athletes who have taken part in the national Black Lives Matter movement since Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer more than a month ago.

A protest against McNeil’s organization, America First Students, is set to occur in August. A petition calling for the organization’s removal had more than 6,500 signatures at the time of publication.

Hey! I’m Cameron Bradley and I am the sports editor for the Collegian! I am a junior from Wichita, Kansas, and I am majoring in journalism. When I’m not working for the Collegian, I’m creating content and putting on broadcasts with K-StateHD.TV. I am also currently a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. I love sports, spending time with friends, family and doing everything that I do for the glory of God!