As the nation reacts to the decision in the Breonna Taylor case, one of the most prominent civil rights activists is calling for a boycott of all things Kentucky, including its football and basketball teams.
Reverend Jesse Jackson tweeted this afternoon that professional athletes should discourage recruits from attending the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville as part of an effort to “make economic life in Kentucky inconvenient.”
The players in the WNBA, NFL & NBA must discourage high profile athletes, basketball & football players, from going to the University of Kentucky & the University of Louisville. We must make economic life in KY inconvenient. This tactic has always worked for oppressed people.
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) September 24, 2020
Last night, Jackson said the horse racing industry, including the Kentucky Derby, should also be boycotted:
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) September 23, 2020
Jackson’s comments are disappointing on a number of levels. Both the Kentucky basketball and football teams have been very public in their support of the Black Lives Matter movement, with Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow leading the football players in a march over the summer, the team walking out of practice to raise awareness in August, and the basketball team releasing a video that’s been viewed over one million times. John Calipari even started a leadership initiative to create access and opportunities for minorities in college athletics administration. Besides, while there are very serious problems in our country right now, boycotting an entire economy — during a pandemic — and ultimately hurting the people that need help the most is not a solution.