Freedom For Facts
Last Friday, KSU student Jaden McNeil took to Twitter to say that a month after George Floyd died in a police-involved incident in Minneapolis, the man was “drug-free for an entire month.”
McNeil’s tweet immediately caused a firestorm of condemnation, and school officials quickly castigated the tweet.
“The lack of basic decency and care for how this post would impact others, especially our Black students, faculty & staff already emotionally hurting from recent incidents of anti-Black violence is shameful and appalling,” tweeted Thomas Lane, vice president for student life and dean of students at K-State.
“K-State condemns the post in the strongest of terms. It does not reflect who we are as confirmed by the outrage expressed by so many campus community members. Bigotry, prejudice & racism have no place here,” he added.
A spokesman for the school said that there can be no immediate determination about what to do about McNeil as a decision could not be made without an investigation being conducted.
For his part, after Twitter deleted the original comment, McNeil said he sees no reason to ever apologize.
“I’m never gonna apologize,” he said. “Why the — would I apologize?” he said.
But the incident sparked a movement among the school’s athletes to force the school to act immediately to cast McNeil out.
Initially, several students separately jumped on the comments.
For instance, defensive back Tee Denson tweeted, “I refuse to play for a program that tolerates ignorance such as this.” Wide receiver Joshua Youngblood wrote, “I’m not coming back until he kicked out.” And in another tweet, Youngblood said, “Y’all need to do something.”
Several other players across a range of sports also tweeted their displeasure that the school did not immediately expel McNeil without any investigation. And before long, the movement became more organized. Women’s basketball player Christianna Carr tweeted a formal letter demanding action. The letter insisted that players would not “play or participate in any donor or recruiting events” until KSU creates a new policy to expel anyone who “openly displays racism” on social media.
Defensive back Jonathan Alexander also posted a formal letter with similar sentiment:
Tweets from KSU athletes continued throughout the weekend:
The school’s coaching staff also jumped in to side with the athletes:
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