State football players won't play, demand action after student's George Floyd tweet

Kansas State Football

McNeil is the president of America First Students, an organization he launched in January.

A group of student athletes at Kansas state University, including the university's football and women's basketball teams, said they would not play or practice until a student who joked about George Floyd on Twitter is expelled.

"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", Athletic Director Gene Taylor said in a statement.

Kansas State University condemned McNeil, tweeting "The insensitive comments posted by one K-State student hurts [sic] our entire community".

Kansas State student Jaden McNeil posted this horrendous post mocking George Floyd on Social Media. It is in blatant opposition to the values we hold close and aspire to as a university, such as diversity, inclusion, civility and respect. "Bigotry, prejudice & racism have no place here", he added. Students released a video last week under the #BlackAtKState hashtag and asked for America First Students to be removed from campus.

Kansas State spokesman Jeff Morris said America First Students is now not registered on the campus.

Kansas State Athletics responded with this message.

Senior defensive backs D.J. Render, Jonathan Alexander and Walter Neil, as well as sophomore wide receiver Malik Knowles are among some of the players threatening to boycott the program. The university says "it is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive".

Head football coach Chris Klieman tweeted in support of his players. "I love our players and they know I have their backs", Klieman tweeted. A number of college athletes around the country have used their influence to push for social justice since Floyd's death.

Other student-athletes have made similar stances. That came on a campus that was roiled by controversy and demonstrations five years ago over the treatment of minorities on campus. At the time of publication, the football team was the only team to issue a full team statement.

McNeil received several tweets of support Friday, including from conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin.

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