NORMAN – Lincoln Riley and the Oklahoma football players and staff marched on the University of Oklahoma campus today in a form of peaceful protest to the social injustices currently plaguing the country.
The sports world was been completely flipped on its head this week after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The NBA elected to postpone all play after it became apparent that many players wanted to boycott the games, and the NHL soon followed their lead.
Major League Baseball has not had a league-wide shutdown, but many games over the past couple of days were postponed for the same reason.
In the NFL, teams have elected to stop practicing with some, like the Detroit Lions, doing a peaceful protest of their own.
Late last night, it was released to the local media that they were invited to an “event” to be held at the Oklahoma football facilities this morning.
Upon arrival, we were informed of the teams intention to march across the practice field, onto campus, and do a moment of silence in the middle of the Unity Garden right in the heart of the OU campus.
“There’s been a lot of buildup to this, ” Lincoln Riley said. “We always just try to push our players to do more and more and more, and that doesn’t just apply to the football field.”
In the Unity Garden, Lincoln Riley offered a brief statement before the team held a 57-second moment of silence to honor the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington.
The coaches, players, and staff then marched back to the stadium.
It was a powerful scene, and one eerily similar to the demonstration OU players and coaches did in 2015 after the infamous SAE fraternity racist video rocked Oklahoma.
Riley mentioned after the march that that had led to some good, and hoped this could have a similar effect.
“Why can’t this be the thing that brings us all even more together?” Riley said.
In addition to the march, rather than practicing, the entire OU football team also got registered to vote today.
The whole team took the time to register to vote today. So proud of our players, staff, and everyone involved. #Boomer
— Creed Humphrey (@creed_humphrey) August 28, 2020
This has been extremely difficult week for the entire country, but the one positive that has come of it has been the truly incredible use of their platform by athletes and sports leagues.
As Riley said, Oklahoma is just trying to do their part here.
It was not mentioned whether or not there would be further demonstrations or anything planned for the season opener/gamedays in general.
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