Members of the LSU football team gathered Friday afternoon and marched the campus in peaceful protest in response to social injustice.
College football programs across the country have made similar marches in the last 24 hours in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting, an unarmed black man who was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police on Aug. 23. Ole Miss and Mississippi State are just a few of the SEC programs who set up marches.
The team started at Tiger Stadium and marched all the way to interim president Tom Galligan's office on the opposite side of campus for further discussion. The group included junior quarterback Myles Brennan, junior receiver Ja'Marr Chase and senior safety JaCoby Stevens.
Upon arrival, players met with Galligan and had some conversation outside of the president's office before rain forced them to take the conversation inside. The conversation was reportedly spearheaded by Stevens, who also set up the march earlier in the day.
“Thank you to our LSU football student-athletes for speaking up. We support you, we stand with you against racism and inequality, and we know actions will always speak louder than words,” Galligan tweeted Friday afternoon.
"We decided we needed to do something so we decided to come to Tiger Stadium and walk to the president's office," Stevens told reporters after the march. "I felt like that walk has a lot more meaning than people actually see. Going to our place of business, our place of comfort in Tiger Stadium all the way to the president's office to have some type of conversation, I think that means a lot."
The team was later joined inside by coach Ed Orgeron and athletic director Scott Woodward where further discussion took place. In the aftermath of the George Floyd slaying in May, Orgeron released a statement.
“My players and former players are hurting, and they let me know they’re hurting,” Orgeron says in an interview Tuesday with Sports Illustrated. “When they’re hurting, it hurts me. I love all my players like they were my own. I know some are hurting right now, and I totally support them. I will not tolerate racism, and they know it.”
After about an hour of meeting inside, the team finally left the building at about 3:45 p.m. Scheduled to practice at 6 p.m., that never occurred but the players feel that something a lot more meaningful occurred Friday afternoon.
Orgeron said the team had a very productive team meeting on Friday, saying that the team will push forward as a stronger team with more open dialogue.
"I fully support their decision. We're going to come back to practice on Monday and be a closer football team," Orgeron said. "We're gonna have more open dialogue on the things going on besides football. We'll take care of each other like a family."
This story will be updated as more information is provided.