Kentucky football players, alongside Coach Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow, took to the streets of Lexington on Friday to lead a protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement that is gripping the nation.
Seeing such a large number of team members demonstrating together in support of a unifying cause was awe-inspiring for many members of the BBN, and it has received a ton of attention around the state. However, Kentucky was not the only team to show their support of BLM over the past few days.
Members of both Tennessee and Missouri’s football programs attended BLM demonstrations in both Columbia and Knoxville, respectively. Tennessee players, joined by head coach Jeremy Pruitt, spoke to crowds of protestors over a megaphone.
Missouri players, joined by coaches, university staff, and police, began their march at the university and ended their march at the Boone County Courthouse, registering each player to vote.
Together. ???????? pic.twitter.com/OnVPe31rb6
— Mizzou Athletics (@MizzouAthletics) June 3, 2020
Arkansas’ head coach Sam Pittman joined protestors in Fayetteville, joined by some members of the team.
Kentucky is no stranger to speaking out against injustices. Kentucky is historically a leader among SEC programs when it comes to addressing racial injustices, a position they still hold today.
Kentucky was the first football team in the SEC to officially integrate their program in 1967 with Nate Northington, shattering the color barrier in the conference and paving the way for black athletes in the SEC.
Within five years, every team in the SEC became integrated.
A statue in front of Kroger Field memorializes Northington’s historical season, alongside other pioneers Greg Page, Houston Hogg, and Wilbur Hackett, who helped cement UK’s status as a leader in both athletics and activism.
Now, in 2020, Kentucky players still lead the way for other programs and players to take a stand for what they believe in. Friday was just one example of the power UK players hold in their hands; an influence not just in the SEC, but a role model for everyone.
BBN, we should be proud.