One Nebraska Board of Regents member wants players who chose to kneel in protest during the national anthem kicked off of the team, the Lincoln Journal-Star reports.
Cornhusker players Michael Rose-Ivey, DaiShon Neal and Mohamed Barry chose to protest racial injustice in America during the playing of the anthem ahead of Nebraska’s game at Northwestern. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the wave of protests, which have since spread across sports as players protest police brutality toward minorities.
Hal Daub, a university regent and former mayor of Omaha, told the Journal-Star that he disagreed strongly with their decision, citing “poor judgment” and calling it “copycat conduct.”
“It’s a free country,” Daub told the Journal Star on Tuesday. “They don’t have to play football for the university either.
“They know better, and they had better be kicked off the team," he added. "They won’t take the risk to exhibit their free speech in a way that places their circumstance in jeopardy, so let them get out of uniform and do their protesting on somebody else’s nickel.”
Daub continued: “Those publicity seeking athletes ought to rethink the forum in which they chose to issue their personal views at the expense of everyone else.”
Nebraska's president Hank Bounds issued a statement on Tuesday offering his support for the students who chose to protest.
“College campuses, as much as any space, must be places where robust, even uncomfortable, debate is welcomed and encouraged,” Bounds said. “I want every student, faculty and staff member to know that I am unwavering in my support of your right to participate in these dialogues.”
Rose-Ivey told reporters on Monday that he and his teammates decided to kneel to call attention to “policies and laws that discriminate and hinder the growth and opportunity of people of color, low income people, women and other marginalized communities.”
He also said he had received death threats for his actions.
“To make it clear, I am not anti-police, I’m not anti-military, nor am I anti-American,” Rose-Ivey added. “I love my country deeply.”
Daub, who is white, added that he felt “personally offended” by the players’ decision.
- Jeremy Woo