Kansas State is launching a diversity and education fund amid several other initiatives to address racial injustice after football players threatened a boycott in response to an insensitive tweet by a student about the death of George Floyd.
The fund will allow boosters to funnel money directly to initiatives within the athletic department that “actively seek inclusive and diverse community through educational programming and support of all student-athletes, coaches and staff.”
Wildcats athletic director Gene Taylor said in a statement Wednesday, “We will not stand for social injustice. Now is the time for us to build upon the diversity and inclusion program that we launched two years ago and make bigger strides in the area of racial injustice and racism.”
Last Thursday, one month after George Floyd died, Kansas State student Jaden McNeil tweeted: “Congratulations to George Floyd on being drug free for an entire month!”
As a result, several football players threatened to boycott if the university declined to take action, while other student-athletes joined the cause. On Saturday, the football team issued a formal statement calling on university President Richard Myers and other administrative staff to make meaningful changes to the campus culture.
Kansas State has also promised that student-athletes, coaches and staff would undergo mandatory diversity and inclusion training that includes monthly town hall sessions; redouble efforts to recruit applicants from diverse backgrounds for staff and coaching positions; utilize home games to support the Black Lives Matter movement; highlight Black History Month; and provide transportation to student-athletes to voting locations on Election Day.
Head caoch Chris Klieman said he supported his players and that “I am excited to help every player unite for the solution now, so that we can come together stronger than ever. Black lives matter.”
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