Hawkeye football players voice unity amid racism allegations in program
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP/KCRG) - Iowa football players returned to campus to prepare for voluntary workouts amid an uproar.
Former players over the past several days alleged systemic racism and other mistreatment in the program. The team’s strength coach, Chris Doyle, has been placed on administrative leave and coach Kirk Ferentz’s leadership was called into question by some.
About two dozen current players took to social media to voice messages of unity. None complained directly about his treatment.
The strongest statement came from sophomore defensive back Kaevon Merriweather, saying that he and the team do not need the support of people who do not support what many on the team are speaking out against.
“I would rather play in front of 1,000 fans who care about us as people outside of football and what we are standing for, than 70,000 fans who only care about us when we are in uniform and on the field entertaining them,” Merriweather wrote on Twitter.
The school’s official athletic’s department Twitter account posted a simple message at the end of the day: “We hear you. We support you. We are with you.” The post included a conglomeration of many of the tweets players, past and present, had written throughout the day, which can be seen here.
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