Stone: 'Change Needs To Happen'
Former Iowa safety Geno Stone said on Twitter on Saturday that "Change Needs To Happen!" within the Hawkeyes' football program, and that coach Kirk Ferentz needs to be the one to lead the way.
Stone, drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the seventh round of last April's NFL Draft, has been among the former Hawkeyes posting on social media in recent days about racial issues within the program.
"Walking into the facility everyday I felt like we all had to put a mask on and be someone we were not," Stone wrote. "Due to this it led to a lot of unnecessary anxiety and stress to my former teammates and I.
"I'm going to end this by saying KF is the one to start the change."
Ferentz responded to the social media posts on Friday night with a statement:
“I am saddened to hear these comments from some of our former players.
“While I wish they had reached out to us directly, I am thankful that these players decided to share their experiences now. As I said earlier this week, the best way to affect change is by listening. I have started reaching out to them on an individual basis to hear their stories first hand.
“Making change that matters involves an open dialogue and possibly some tough conversations. I am glad to have the opportunity to do just that. As a staff and as leaders, we will listen and take to heart the messages we hear.”
Among those speaking out on Twitter was former center James Daniels. Daniels, now with the Chicago Bears, said Friday night, "There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program. Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long."
Many players commented on the way they had been treated by strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, Kirk's son.
Former Hawkeye Jaleel Johnson said:
More players and family members of players posted on social media throughout the night on Friday and on Saturday morning.
Felicia Goodson, the mother of running back Tyler Goodson, said, "Last thing I will say is the calling for the firing of Coach KF and Coach Doyle is premature. One thing I strongly believe is this staff will listen and are open to change. Give them a chance to fix it. I know for sure Kirk Ferentz is an amazing human being who really does care."
Maurice Goodson, Tyler's father, said: