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Kentucky Football players use platform to unite in practice walkout

UK Athletics

@UKFootball

The University of Kentucky football team walked out of Thursday’s practice to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

“We decided to use this time that we’ve been given today to address something that’s more important than football,” defensive lineman Josh Paschal said Thursday evening. “As a power five football team, we come from all different backgrounds, but come together to turn awareness into action. In light of recent events involving police brutality, our team stands together in unity, knowing there’s a problem in this country.”

The team had complete support from Mark Stoops, who unknowingly walked in on the players-only meeting. Kentucky’s head coach sat down and listened to the open dialogue before ultimately supporting whatever conclusion his players reached.

“Playing for Coach Stoops means that we have a players’ coach. We have a coach that empathizes and hurts with us, while having our best interest at heart. The administration of the university has been great, with listening and offering any help that they can. Coach Stoops has made it known that he is for us and it gets the issue by protesting and giving us this opportunity,” said Paschal.

“Our team has been a prime example of how our community should be. We may have different beliefs or values, but we work together to fight for one goal. We’ve never had a problem with this team splitting up with this issue because we are a brotherhood and we are more than athletes, because on this team we are treated as such. This is how we want others to see us as well. ”

Offensive guard Luke Fortner showed up to the facility expecting to practice. Once he saw how visibly shaken some of his teammates were by what they’ve seen across the country, he was prepared to take action.

“This isn’t just an issue for our Black teammates. It’s an issue that involves all of our players and should involve all of our fans and community,” said Fortner.

“We realize that as athletes we have a platform and we have decided as a team that we will use this platform for positive change. What does this mean? It means that we’re not just going to Tweet a hashtag. We plan on continuing our volunteer service, but with an emphasis on youth minorities in the community. We plan on opening dialogue with the Lexington police and inviting an open conversation. We plan on making this a consistent effort, not just something that dies down in just a week.”

The large Kentucky football unity council — Paschal, Fortner, Cedrick Dort, Boogie Watson, Landon Young, Josh Ali, Drake Jackson, Zach Johnson and Max Duffy are just a few of the vocal members — was prepared to take action with a tangible goal in hand. They left the meeting with a purpose, to educate Lexington’s youth. Their primary volunteering focus will be to create dialogue with local youth groups and the police. 

Without action, nothing happens. It’s just merely a thought. With everything that’s been going on, there’s been a lot of talking on social media, things of that sort, but there hasn’t really been that much action. Action is going to be the thing that takes us to the next level,” said Paschal.

“What we did today, it’s going to be talked about around Kentucky. Some people may not agree with it, but I know that people will hear me out and people will listen to this press conference and they may see things differently. Even if everyone doesn’t change their hearts who may disagree with me, even if we can influence a couple of people, that could be a domino effect where they can change their community and they can change how they treat their kids, how they raise their kids so that they will treat others with respect while they’re growing up.”

This will be the only practice the Kentucky football team misses. Fortner believes one practice is worth missing to support his brothers.

In 20 years, is it going to matter if we practiced on this Thursday? Probably not. Right now we have an opportunity to do something with that platform,” Fortner said.

Fortner and Paschal are just two of the more than 100 Kentucky football players who are using their platform to stand united against hate.

“We’re speaking for every single one of our teammates,” said Paschal. “We’re speaking for our teammates who may not feel loved in this country, who aren’t mentally right right now just because of the things going on — seeing people who look like us being harmed just solely because of the color of our skin and people fearing us just because of the color of our skin. There’s a lot of stereotypes about us, but at Kentucky we’re educated young Black men on this football team and that’s something we carry pride in. That’s something Coach Stoops has set in stone, to know that we are more than athletes…

“We really care for each other. We really empathize with each other and we are a true brotherhood here. We are a true family.”

 

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

69 Comments for Kentucky Football players use platform to unite in practice walkout



  1. Lyle Evans
    6:56 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

    Love my TEAM.



  2. BleedingBlue1996
    6:58 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

    I’m done. Was hoping this crap wouldn’t hit college but it has. Done with it all. More things to worry about than sport’s.



    • DoubleB65
      8:42 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

      I feel the exact same way.



    • satcheluk
      10:33 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

      Don’t let the door hit you and please drop you BBN card in the box by the door. Good riddance!



    • mashman 93
      11:07 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

      It is just a practice folks. UK athletics is it for me I just don’t care about pro sports and I will always support them. I may not always agree them but I will never abandon these young men. GO CATS!!! Love my team.



    • mashman 93
      11:08 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

      That was not supposed to be a response to anyone, just a post. Sorry.



    • Logic_Prevails
      10:19 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Also, read a book ?. He’ll read two or three books ?. You will have a better understanding of why there are protests all over the country. No one has time to explain it to you in the comments section of KSR.



    • UK_fac_boi
      12:02 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Bye, Felicia!



    • Nick
      2:43 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Getting mad at this, then saying you’re “done with it all” because there are “more important things to worry about” is the greatest lack of self-awareness I’ve ever witnessed.



    • Logic_Prevails
      9:54 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Here’s the deal, because Logic always Prevails. This team has players and coaches who believe Black Lives Matter. This University has a President and an Athletic Director who believe Black Lives Matter. The state has a Governor who believes Black Lives Matter. If you don’t believe Black Lives Matter too, then maybe this isn’t the state, University, or team for you to ‘support’. You should cheer for the school with the team that is all right with citizens getting killed by the police that are hired to protect them. Good luck with your new team.



    • Logic_Prevails
      10:20 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      @BleedingMoron



  3. Batsell
    7:09 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

    With ya’ Bleeding’. Done!



  4. BeardedCat26
    8:52 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

    Bye then! Fake fans!



    • cats646
      7:42 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Idk. I mean I know where they’re coming from. Doesn’t mean they’re fake fans.



  5. Ol Jim
    9:05 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

    Wow…



  6. light my fire
    9:46 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

    Well



  7. Ryan Lemonds Toupee
    10:24 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

    ?



  8. bigbluebg
    10:36 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

    I’m just confused. I get the message the NBA is sending, but just not practicing for college football planning to play games just hurts themselves. No ones missing watching a practice.



    • Bluebird
      9:23 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      They’re using the only platform they have to make it clear how they feel. What do you WANT them to do? Draft legislation? They’re college football players. They’re not politicians. All they can do is use the stage they have, however small, to say what they have to say. Why does it have to be more than that?



    • Mr.Incognito
      10:59 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Well said



    • bigbluebg
      12:35 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      I think KSR changed the headline. It was kinda confusing. I still think “walking out” is the wrong phrase. I would prefer “stand up” or idk something else.

      I support what they are doing but was confused by some of the verbiage in KSRs original headline.

      I know they are football players, I know they won’t draft legislation, I know they aren’t politicians.
      You could have left out the sarcasm and just answered it. Why does everyone have to attempt to cut someone down when they ask a question or say they are confused by something?



    • Bluebird
      12:48 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Nothing I said was sarcastic, my friend. I understand how it could read that way, though. I wish there were a less hostile-looking way of indicating emphasis than writing in all-caps.



    • bigbluebg
      10:56 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Okay. Sorry for misinterpreting what you meant.



  9. ohiokatfan
    11:56 pm August 27, 2020 Permalink

    Anyone who says they are “done” in response to this is full of it. You aren’t done. Just a crybaby that can’t handle something you don’t agree with. And I bet you call others snowflakes.

    I hope you are done because I sure as hell don’t want you around here anymore.



    • CJKAssassin123
      12:01 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Agreed!!!



    • UK_fac_boi
      12:03 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Preach!



    • bigbluebg
      2:13 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      For the record, I said I was confused by it. Def not “done”. I just see how in effects the change that they want to see.



    • cats646
      7:43 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      @ohio. You’re probably the type of person who throws a fit if they see someone with a MAGA hat on. Smh hypocrites.



  10. drbigblue
    12:17 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

    They are supporting rioters, looters, anarchist. That’s what BLM is! They could care less about blacks, whites, Hispanics..



    • UKFaninCO
      12:31 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      BLM are anti-American Marxist. No quarter.



    • 4everUKBlue
      7:17 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Funded and used by George Soros and his rich elite white cronies, this is an agenda and nothing more. All you supporters are being manipulated. Call me whatever you want but do your own investigations before you jump on the wrong bandwagon.



    • Mr.Incognito
      11:00 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Drink the kool-aid bois, I’ll pray for you



    • AcceptanceNow
      12:35 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      They’re raising awareness of and attention towards systemic racism that has plagued our country for too long. Once the laws change and Police violence towards black men subsides, so too will the entire BLM movement. Until then, this is the new normal.



  11. Jambluehue99
    3:50 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

    At what point do facts enter into the equation?



    • cats646
      7:44 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      For liberals? Never. They’ve never been in the equation. Don’t forget the quote from the great Joe Biden “we choose Truth over FACTS!” Loloollol. And these ppl are gonna vote for that fool. Smh



    • AcceptanceNow
      12:33 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Don’t you think facts factor into the equation when choosing truth? I certainly do. Otherwise, how would you arrive at the truth?



    • UKNUTZ
      1:20 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      @Acceptance now, it’s easy for people to create their own truth by blindly following and listening to others and ignoring facts and statistics. Your truth seems to be that this movement is just and most people like you say anyone not supporting it is a racist bigot. But the fact is you’ve already lost all sense of reality and the argument plus any right to lecture anyone else on decency when you support the people in your movement who intimidate, assault and/or kill innocent civilians, disabled veterans, even children and then pillage and burn their city’s to get their point across. Your truth is obviously different than those of us that see the whole picture. Bless your Heart



    • AcceptanceNow
      2:01 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      @UKSNUTZ You’ve got it n reverse. We both know we won’t agree with each other’s perspective, opinion, or version of the truth and the set of facts which established that truth. I, and likely most who also support the BLM cause, do not agree with the rioting, intimidation, assaulting innocent civilians–any of that. There’s no place for it. The only “fact” you seem to be conveniently overlooking is the one where black men are being killed by police at an alarmingly disproportionate rate win this country. Oh, and, you can save your “Bless your Heart” for someone who doesn’t see through your condescension (notice I didn’t say racism or bigotry). Onwards and upwards. The truth will prevail. Hopefully Kamila will have better luck leading our great nation in the future when she’s President.



  12. ronzo
    6:44 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

    Bye bye fat boys. Keep walking.



  13. cats646
    7:48 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

    It’s ridiculous that anyone believes these criminals are being killed just because they’re black. It’s a fact that way more whites are killed by cops yearly than blacks. Black ppl aren’t oppressed anymore. The only ones saying blacks aren’t equal are DEMOCRATS!!!! Let that sink in. The party, that has always been the party of racism, is now telling blacks they’re not equal and oppressed and acting like they care just to get votes. It’s sad to see these kids are falling for that bs. I’m white, I’ve been pulled over and harassed by cops multiple times. Does that mean I’m oppressed?? No!! Racism ends when you STOP VOTING DEMOCRAT!!!!! They’re the only ones that even bring it up.



    • Bluebird
      9:13 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Yeah! Why don’t you ever see RACISTS talking about how racism is a problem? It’s always the other guys. If these dang Democrats would stop WHINING about racism, then racists would stop BEING racist! Problem solved!



    • cats646
      10:09 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      How many racists do you know? I know maybe 3, and they’re all democrats. Racism isn’t a problem in this country. It’s a “problem” that democrats (the racist party) only brings up around election time to trick ppl to vote for them. Systematic racism no longer exists. Feel free to try to prove me wrong. But if you’re like Joe Biden and “choose the truth over facts” I doubt you can. Lololol



    • Mr.Incognito
      11:04 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Just look at Kenosha and the difference in the way police treated the black gentleman who hadn’t killed anybody (shot him) and the white gentleman who had killed two people (completely ignored him). There is a perfect example of people are mad, it’s a double standard.

      How can you not see that?



    • kjd
      11:55 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      The police were called to the scene with the black gentleman.
      I saw no police in the video of the white shooter.
      Apples and oranges. How can you not see that?



    • Bluebird
      11:03 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      “Explain systemic racism to me” is kind of a big ask of a random commenter at a college sports website. But okay.

      Here are 26 charts that do just that:
      https://www.businessinsider.com/us-systemic-racism-in-charts-graphs-data-2020-6

      There are plenty more where that came from. Type “examples of systemic racism” into your favorite search engine. It’s easy! Did you know that houses owned by black people are consistently appraised at lower values than families owned by white people? These facts–and many others!–are all right there for your perusal.



    • cats646
      11:12 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Lol. None of those charts prove anything. Ofc black employment is lower, they make up 13% of the population. Ofc not as many blacks have high paying jobs, because again they make up 13% of the population. Black ppl can get scholarships to college on nothing other than the fact they’re black. They can pass college courses with lower grades just because they’re black also. Are their racists in this world? Absolutely, in every race, toward every race. But is racism causing black ppl to live a worse life than white ppl? Absolutely not. Quit buying into everything the media tells you. Democrats keep “racism” in the news solely to get votes. They don’t want racism or poverty to end anymore than republicans want abortions to end. Because if “racism” wasn’t talked about and pretended to be a huge deal, a democrat would never get elected for anything at all. It’s all a play to get votes. And you fell for it. You want change?? VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN!!!!



    • CJKAssassin123
      11:18 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      You can change teams then!



    • Bluebird
      11:42 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      I didn’t know that in addition to teaching you about systemic racism, I would also have to teach you to read. The charts take differences in population size into account.



    • cats646
      11:57 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Ok bluebird, even tho they do. It still changes nothing. More blacks being unemployed does not mean in any way that racism is holding them down. No at all. Try again.



    • AcceptanceNow
      12:55 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Facts:

      Absolutely correct, facts are not optional and data doesn’t lie. To that end, the rate of fatal police shootings among Black Americans was much higher than that for any other ethnicity, standing at 31 fatal shootings per million of the population as of July 2020. This is per Statista.com.

      You can visit the site yourself by clicking here:
      https://www.statista.com/statistics/1123070/police-shootings-rate-ethnicity-us/

      Whereas Whites experience 13 fatal shootings per million of the population as of July 2020. Therefore African American’s are 58% more likely to lose their lives at the hands of Police Officers than Whites are. That certainly calls for (and now demands) Social and Racial Justice. I know I’d want that for any of my loved ones and can assume anyone reading this blog would demand the same for their loved ones given such extreme imbalance in the statistics.



    • Bluebird
      12:57 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Cool, now read the other 25 charts. Then read all the other charts beyond those. Black people being worse off than white people in virtually all quantifiable areas of life is actually the DEFINITION of systemic racism.



    • Bluebird
      12:59 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      (That last post of mine was directed to Cats646, not you, Acceptance. You’re a faster poster than me.)



  14. Jpcat15
    8:05 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

    Coach Stoops and his players don’t care about facts. It is obvious. How about teaching these young men the difference between right and wrong? How about explaining to them that this is what happens when criminals resist arrest? It is just maddening.



    • cats646
      8:07 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      YESS!!!!! This had nothing to do with him being black. If you’re a dangerous criminal, and resist arrest, even after being razed, YOURE GOING TO BE SHOT! That’s what these kids need to learn.



    • CJKAssassin123
      11:15 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      You can change teams then!



    • cats646
      11:19 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Absolutely not CJK. I love my team. And I’m not mad at all that these kids wanted to walk out. What I’m mad about is that they, just like you, are so misinformed they think they have to. Don’t you ever tell me to change teams. I’ll bleed blue till the day I die. But I also won’t be silenced by your controlling communist bs Democratic Party. Do some research, read a book or something, maybe you’ll learn something. Have a good day kid.



    • kjd
      12:01 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Yes, they are being taught if you’re upset, you just walk out on your responsibilities. Coping with stress, hardships, etc is part of the maturation process. When they get a job, they’ll just not show up when they’re having a bad day. Having a bad day, I’m not going to be a parent today. Having a bad day today, I’m not waiting for this traffic light. That’s what they’re being taught.



  15. VilleCat11
    8:57 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

    Where is the outrage and protest from the shooting at the mall?? Ohhhh wait, doesnt fit the racist narrative that allows the victim mentality…



    • catsfan1995
      9:07 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      You seriously have to ask that question…? Maybe the “slight” difference is one man was shot by a police officer…? Just a thought! You, my friend, are apart of the issue.



    • VilleCat11
      9:30 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      So it only matters when someone who broke the law gets shot by a police officer? You my friend are part of the problem..



    • Mr.Incognito
      11:07 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Watch the RNC if you want victim mentality, all Herr Donald does is complain about how unfairly he is treated.

      Over there ranting about how ‘real’ (aka white) Americans are going to be mistreated by Biden and those big ol mean dems.



    • cats646
      11:16 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Bro are you serious? Did you watch any of the DNC? Lol. They changed the pledge of allegiance to “with liberty and justice for all…. someday” lololol!!!! They did nothing but complain about how “terrible” they have it living in America. They did nothing but whine and complain about our country. That’s the Democratic motto: “b!tch if you’re slightly mistreated until you get your way” lol. Or is it what sleepy Joe said? “We choose the truth over facts!” Smh. The Democratic Party has truly become pathetic.



  16. CJKAssassin123
    11:25 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

    Anyone on here not standing with our team whether they agree with them or not, has no right to be part of the BBN family and should leave and never come back. You guys are fake fans who are only interested in the teams athletic ability and how there success impacts the university however you have zero empathy or care in the world for the players themselves. The BBN has no time for fake fans. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.



    • cats646
      11:58 am August 28, 2020 Permalink

      You’re absolutely wrong. You’re a moron. Being mad because these kids are incredibly misinformed doesn’t mean we don’t want the best for them. Fuk you if you think I’ll ever bleed anything other than blue.



    • Jambluehue99
      12:40 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      Ok, CJ. So since someone disagrees with your point of view they have no rights and need to be eliminated. People who traffic in your tactics are what’s wrong with this country. You can’t debate facts so you cry and tell everyone to leave. Besides being immature, it’s intellectually lazy and fascist.



    • UKNUTZ
      1:43 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      And if the next team all wore MAGA hats you would break down and have a conniption fit. You actually can support someone or a group and still disagree with their politics. I don’t blame you for not knowing that, most ignorant leftist hive mind types have to think the same or you get kicked out of the club. Bless your Heart



  17. ceeph
    12:30 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

    People don’t want sports mixed with politics they turn to sports to get away from politics. I saw someone say it was just practice what is the big deal? I agree it was just a practice so what did walking out accomplish or solve? Absolutely nothing. Just missed a day of practice. I also saw someone comment they were just showing support for black men who are more often killed by police which is a statistical lie to begin with. More white people are shot and killed by police every year than any minority group. I have no problem with the players exercising their right to free speech they can protest and march make signs hoot and holler all they want about whatever issues they feel passionate about but I don’t think it should be done as a team representing my alma mater. If they wanted to organize a peaceful rally or protest on campus go for it but keep football(sports) and protesting separate. It serves no useful purpose other than to alienate fans, no one is going to change their opinions cause the UK football team missed a day of practice.



  18. NYCWildcat
    2:22 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

    We should be nothing but supportive of our players voicing their opinions in any non-violent way they seem fit. I am seeing a lot of comments that are incredibly patronizing. I bleed blue, but we have to support each others as humans first. Proud of them and the NBA for taking a stand.



    • BlueHeaven
      3:33 pm August 28, 2020 Permalink

      You are proud of the NBA for taking a stand? Lebron James is the biggest racist in the NBA spreading his vile comments without being held accountable.