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UT athletes take a stand

Good for them.

Several athletes at the University of Texas at Austin are refusing to participate in recruiting incoming players or show up at donor-related events if university and athletics officials fail to respond to a list of demands geared toward supporting black students, according to a statement posted Friday afternoon by dozens of the student athletes on Twitter.

Brennan Eagles, the school’s sophomore wide receiver, and Brandon Jones, a senior defensive back, were among the students who posted the statement, detailing a list of actions Longhorn athletes want the university’s athletics department to take. These include donating 0.5% of the department’s annual earnings to the Black Lives Matter movement and black organizations, establishing a permanent black athletic history exhibit in the Athletics Hall of Fame and renaming parts of the football stadium after Julius Whittier, the first black football letterman at UT-Austin.

In addition to demands specific to the athletics department, athletes also want UT officials to rename campus buildings named after Texans who were proponents of segregation or held other racist views, remove a statue of prominent segregationist James Hogg and discontinue the school song, “The Eyes of Texas,” which has ties to minstrel shows and was created during segregation. Other calls to action include requiring a module on the history of racism at UT and increasing outreach efforts to inner-city schools in Austin, Dallas and Houston.

“We, as student athletes, and collectively as the University of Texas Longhorn football team, are aware that we are an athletic department made up of many black athletes, and believe that it is time we become active on our campus,” the statement reads.

Athletes will continue to practice and participate in workouts and team activities this summer but are asking for a “plan for implementation” before the fall semester begins.

[…]

After a widely circulated petition and statements from more than 100 student organizations, the larger UT student body sent a letter detailing student demands to interim President Jay Hartzell earlier this week. Their requests mirror those of the athletes — students want UT to “acknowledge its racist history” by renaming seven campus buildings and structures, removing the Hogg statue and discontinuing the school song.

Additionally, they are asking UT to cut ties with the Austin Police Department and campus police and adopt inclusive practices in recruiting and selecting UT faculty. UT leadership said it would respond to those demands in the coming weeks.

“We are aware of three petitions created by students and look forward to working with them and the UT community to create the best possible experience on our campus for Black students,” UT spokesperson J.B. Bird said in an email.

Like I said, good for them. My guess is UT will concede on a few things but not everything. I have a really hard time imagining that “The Eyes of Texas” will stop being the school song, but you never know. I hope some other school’s athletes are looking at this and getting their own ideas. The Chron has more.

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30 Comments

  1. David fagan says:

    “donating 0.5% of the department’s annual earnings”? Isn’t tuition high enough? Because this will get kicked to the students if it were implemented, which I don’t see happening.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    Seems like it would be easier to just revoke the scholarships of the kids who do not wish to live up to the agreement they made when they accepted the full ride scholarships to begin with.

    Who changed the deal? Not UT. UT is faithfully providing those student athletes free everything, not including what their assigned boosters provide for them under the table.

    Let them drop out of the football program, begin to pay their way for their education, and give those scholarships to deserving kids who would be thrilled to get them.

  3. brad says:

    Bill,

    What changed is that a remnant of racism has been discovered in the UT fight song.

    I like the way you slyly change the complexity (pun intended) of talking about “agreements” and “faithfully” or some nefarious payments to make it seem like these student athletes are somehow wrong, ingrate or bad to demand an end of racism tainted university activities.

    I am a UT alumni and I support seriously looking to to change/end the fight song.

    If you were an university athlete and your university was discovered to have been using a song or emblem that was formerly used by the KKK, back in the day, would you support its removal?

  4. Ross says:

    The song wasn’t used by the Klan. It was performed in minstrel shows. If that’s the standard, there are lots of songs that shouldn’t be used. The song itself is not racist at all.

  5. brad says:

    Didn’t say the Klan used the song. My sentence was not clear. Tried to make a point with the previous poster on a more clear question/scenario. My bad.

    Ross, a standard is not written in stone. There are lots of songs that shouldn’t be used because of their tangency to racist past. Ministrel shows, known as blackface shows, are not harmless.

    The lyrics of the song are not racist, but the history of its origination/derivation should reasonably be considered in whether to adapt/change/eliminate/keep it.

  6. Bill Daniels says:

    There are lots of city names that shouldn’t be used because of their tangency to a racist past.

    Start with General Sam Houston, slave owner. We need to reasonably consider whether to change the name of the city of Houston to something more harmless. and of course, statuary of Gen. Sam would need to be removed….both here and in Huntsville.

    And while we are at it, we need to seriously look at renaming the city of Seguin, and streets and other things named for Juan Seguin, who participated in the killing of indigenous peoples, specifically the peaceful Comanche Indians. It’s OK to remember Seguin, but we shouldn’t be celebrating someone who was responsible for many deaths of early people of color. This means we need to be renaming 225 and the park road in the San Jacinto battleground area. Seeing his name might be hurtful to our Indian-American community, and they shouldn’t have to face seeing his name on street signs when visiting a state park.

  7. Brad says:

    Sam Houston didn’t commit treason against the USA. We should double the numbers and sizes of Houston’s statues everywhere.

    “Peaceful Comanches…?!!! That is some interesting revisionist history.

    Fortunately for you there are no longer any Comanches left in Texas to protest Seguin changing its name.

  8. mollusk says:

    Breaking my usual rule against not feeding trolls…

    Sam Houston was forced out of being governor of Texas because he refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. Although he did have some slaves, he despised the institution.

  9. Bill Daniels says:

    Warning: goalpost moving zone.

    Your original complaint was “a remnant of racism has been discovered.”

    I just discovered two examples of racism. Guy owned slaves. Clear evidence of racism. Another guy was responsible for killing lots of indigenous people…..also clear evidence of racism, the same reason celebrating Thanksgiving is wrong. Racism.

    I’m about to discover that George Washington owned slaves, clear evidence of racism, so wait until I start demanding that both the state AND district get renamed!

    This discovering stuff to get aggrieved about is fun! And if you disagree with any of my renaming ideas, you’re clearly a racist! Hey, we’re just ‘having a conversation,’ right?

  10. Paul Kubosh says:

    The klan breathed air. We should stop breathing air.

  11. Manny says:

    All I can add is that the Trump loving Republicans can make up the dumbest bs to justify their hate of others that are different than them.

    They create their own stupid reality.

    Those kids with scholarships bring in a ton of money to those universities.

    “During fiscal 2018, Texas football generated $144.5 million in revenue, according to audited records obtained by the Express-News. That figure would have placed the Longhorns 15th among 230 public D-I schools in total sports revenue, sandwiched between football-powered SEC cash cows LSU and Tennessee.Mar 19, 2020” Source

    https://www.expressnews.com/sports/college_sports/longhorns/article/Texas-Revenue-3-20-15144130.php

    Slaves breathed air, therefore we should be slaves.

  12. David Fagan says:

    If this nation gets rid of football all together, it will get rid of the equality problems in football also. The last couple of months have proven this nation doesn’t need professional sports. Is it worth it? Get rid of football and make the United States a better place.

  13. David Fagan says:

    Mexico City is built on top of an Aztec temple, how are people going to tear that down?

  14. Bill Daniels says:

    Looks like the Berkley, CA school district is leading the charge to rename schools named for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson:

    https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Berkeley-schools-renamed-black-lives-matter-15341173.php

    From the article:

    “A press release from BUSD states, “Noting that Black Lives Matter protests have swept the nation as demonstrators demand justice in response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many other Black Americans to list, the Resolution In Support of Black Lives Matter includes the following action steps: Initiate a School Renaming Process for Jefferson and Washington Elementary Schools in accordance with the District’s policies.”

    Also included in the resolution is a new, year-round “Black Joy Campaign,” described as resources and training for teachers to identify additional measures of racial inequity and collect data in schools.

    The resolution was written by board member Ka’Dijah Brown and Superintendent Brent Stephens.”

    We just need to keep on rioting until every state, city, building, street, or anything that is named for our founding fathers is renamed or torn down. But hey, Mollusk, maybe the Berkley school district is just ‘trolling.’

  15. Manny says:

    Where will the racism and stupidity by the Trump loving Republicans end?

    “African Americans or the colored population” have been disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic because they “do not wash their hands as well as other groups.”

    Are Republicans going into bathrooms and counting how many men wash their hands, and keeping count by race? Are the measuring the size of the manhood also?

    We just need to stop listening to the racism and stupidity expounded by the likes of the Bill Daniels of the Trump Party.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/11/black-coronavirus-ohio-gop/

  16. Manny says:

    When Republicans are being honest they do tell the truth, listen to Lindsey Graham;

    https://youtu.be/g5Xpwyd4aMM

  17. C.L. says:

    I never understood the need to name a building or a university after a deceased individual to begin with, regardless of them being an elephant or a donkey or a land developer or a previous congressman/senator/governor, etc., regardless of the esteem at which their legacy is held or the accomplishments made during their life. They’re dead, and folks, years later, don’t give a shit what the namesake did to earn the accolade or whether or not the accolade was/is deserved.

    Being a Fed, I suspect 90% of the folks working in the Mickey Leland Federal Bldg have no idea who he was or were even alive during his tenure. It’s crazy that he died during a visit to Ethiopia on a ‘hunger mission’ when he had thousands of constituents in his own district that were starving and need of assistance.

    On this, I’m with David Fagan – I’m not caring if baseball/football/basketball comes back at all. Just not missing it.

  18. David Fagan says:

    Kids wil go to Coca Cola Elementary School now. Ronald McDonald Middle School. Home Depot Community College.

  19. Manny says:

    They can be named after animals or flowers. I attended West Oso, a combination of English and Spanish. They can use just last names, without a first name.

    Why are you being silly Fagan?

    As to sports I have not watch a professional sports since the 1980s. I have attended High School sports. Well not watched a complete game, I do on occasion watch a boxing match.

  20. brad says:

    Or we can just find people with the same last name to “rename” the school.

    Like the “renaming” of Sidney “Lanier” High School from the confederate general to Bob “Lanier” our beloved local mayor.

    Robert E. Lee might be a difficult one though to find a notable non-confederate person with the same name. Like my old alma mater which is now Margaret Wisdom High School.

  21. Bill Daniels says:

    Yes! A monument to George Washington has been toppled, defaced, and a flag burned on it! We’re taking back our country from the racists!

    https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthedonald.win%2Fp%2FFzKYMQbc%2Frioters-have-pulled-down-a-statu%2Fc%2F

  22. Lobo says:

    wisdom sounds good for an alma mater. just drop the margaret. but then again it may be an oxymoron in connection with high school. at least it’s aspirational.

  23. brad says:

    Bill and Fox News are giddy with excitement with this shiny, little toy!

  24. Bill Daniels says:

    Hey Brad,

    Maybe you’ll care about THIS statue?

    Stevie Ray Vaughn statue in Austin defaced.

    https://twitter.com/stillgray/status/1275072914241413120

    We can’t rest until we tear down every statue of a white person. And when we run out of statues to tear down…….

  25. brad says:

    Ooooooo….shiny object.

  26. C.L. says:

    Let us not forget how we got here to begin with…

  27. Bill Daniels says:

    I know y’all think the rioting, statue destruction, street and school renaming, ‘cancel culture,’ etc., is a big joke, but if you ask people who have lived through this EXACT THING in other countries….they don’t see it as a joke, or as progress. They see it as an existential threat, many times the very reason they had to flee the countries they were from.

    Here’s a young lady from Venezuela, explaining this to you:

    https://twitter.com/AutistLvsMatter/status/1275264733088792576

  28. brad says:

    Bill,

    The sad joke is racists who claim heritage (read: hate) for wanting to display an obvious racist flag of the Confederate Stars and Bars flag.

    I am sure there are a lot of folks who think there is an existential threat to themselves from racists statues being torn down. But actually it is because these folks are being indoctrinated daily by watching Fox News and are not critically thinking about these events.

  29. Bill Daniels says:

    Be right back. I’m out smashing my SRV and Double Trouble albums, because it’s not heritage music, it’s hate, and has no place in our society today.

  30. brad says:

    Bill the Conflationist,

    -Peaceful protests are not riots.
    -Statue destruction by an uprising of a diverse, multi-ethnic people demanding racial justice…well, you gotta break some eggs to make an omlette.
    -Changing street and building names from racists/losers over to admired, heroic, public servant Americans…then game on.
    ‘Cancel Culture’…go cry me a river and just get over it.

    As for the vandalism of a Texas icon’s statue in Austin I hope they catch the computer nerds that spray painted ‘file transfer protocol’ on it.