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Daniels: 'Too Many Racial Disparities' Within Iowa's Program

Ferentz responds to social media posts from former players, saying he and his staff 'will listen and take to heart the messages we hear.'

Former Iowa football player James Daniels posted on Twitter on Friday that "there are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program."

His social media posts, as well as posts from other former players, led to a statement from coach Kirk Ferentz on Friday night that echoed his comments from earlier in the week, saying, “As a staff and as leaders, we will listen and take to heart the messages we hear.”

The comments from Daniels and others came after a video meeting with Ferentz and the current Iowa football team on Monday after a weekend of protests over the death of George Floyd.

On Friday night, Daniels posted on Twitter, "There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program. Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long."

Daniels' statement, as well as posts from other former Hawkeyes, prompted a statement from Ferentz later in the night.

Ferentz, speaking on a Wednesday video conference with the media, talked about the meeting with his players and said he wanted a unified team.

When he was asked if he had any thoughts about players protesting by taking a knee during the national anthem the way San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players did in 2016, Ferentz said, "Everybody’s taking a knee, or everybody’s at attention. Either way. The big thing is to be together, to me, on game day and present a uniform appearance as a football team.”

Daniels, who played center at Iowa and now plays for the Chicago Bears after being selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, responded on Twitter by saying, "If the team collectively decides to kneel, this will bring about a cultural change for both Iowa football and the state of Iowa which I believe is long overdue!!!" He then added, "Ask any black football player that went to Iowa during my career (15-17) and they know exactly what I’m talking about."

More comments from players were posted on Friday night after Daniels' statement.

Former Iowa cornerback Manny Rugamba, who played at Iowa for two seasons before transferring to Miami (Ohio), posted this:

Former fullback Brady Ross responded to Rugamba's post, saying:

Former Iowa running back Toren Young, who graduated after last season, posted:

Former Iowa safety Amani Hooker, now with the Tennessee Titans, posted:

Former defensive back Jordan Lomax said:

On Thursday night, appearing on ESPN's SportsCenter, Ferentz said to host Scott Van Pelt, "The best thing about sports is just what you mentioned — for any good team to be successful, they have to exchange ideas. And the key thing, I think, is being respectful of each other. And I think, probably, we could learn a lot in society just from teams that really do things right and function well together."