The Kentucky football team boycotted Thursday’s practice to stand in protest with other athletes, and everyone beyond sports, who feel the same way they do about the issues facing our country right now. It was a powerful stance not just for the players’ own individual beliefs, but also a sign of unity from a locker room made up of young men from all types of backgrounds.
However, not all of the team’s fans saw the “walk-out” as a positive. Many fans with opposing views expressed their disappointment in the team, some even going as far to say they will not cheer for UK this fall. (Spoiler: they will, in fact, cheer for UK this fall.)
Whatever side of the discussion you stand on is completely up to you, but I will use this particular space we’ve rented on the internet to remind you that what you say online is not private, and in this case, can have a very negative effect on the team we all cheer for. (Yes, you too, person who will never cheer for them again.)
UK senior Phil Hoskins, who battled back after missing last season to earn a sixth year of eligibility for this upcoming season so he can hopefully make the NFL to live out his dream and provide for his new young child, saw enough of it on Facebook that he felt he needed to speak out:
Ouuuweee. Y’all should see all of the older fans on Facebook talkin about us not practicing..
— Big Snacc (@phil_hoskins) August 28, 2020
Then there’s this one, a Facebook status from the mother of a recruit who is considering UK:
And now, a message from head coach Mark Stoops from his interview on KSR earlier today. Stoops said, “I want people to understand, this isn’t any one thing. I think we all understand there is a movement going on in our country right now, and that there are issues that need to be addressed, social issues. It’s not about any one, particular incident. Our players are hurt. Our African-American players are hurt. And their white teammates are hearing them and listening to them, and I believe we’re closer than ever because we’re having hard conversations, and people need to do that.
“They have an opportunity to impact people,” Stoops continued. “They want to start with themselves, they want to start with us, and we believe we have a strong culture and we are very united and we are very close; however, that doesn’t mean we can’t be better, and we can’t better understand each other, and we can’t learn, and grow, and get better. Anybody that’s opposed to that, you have a problem. You know what I mean? Anybody that doesn’t want to be better, that doesn’t want to help our society be better? Then you gotta have something wrong with you. We all can grow, learn, and get better.”
Hear Stoops’ interview from the show:
And as always, Go Cats.