Baylor football sparks social change discussion with march on campus

The Baylor football team took the streets of Baylor campus Thursday afternoon to shed light on social injustice after the shooting of a Black man by police in Wisconsin. Many players held signs in support of equality and change. Brittney Matthews | Photo Editor

By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor

The Baylor football team held a march Thursday afternoon instead of practice to bring light to social injustice.

After the march, the team released a statement on the Baylor football Twitter account detailing the reason for their decision.

“Baylor football student-athletes decided as a team to forgo practice Thursday, to unite around the on-going events in our country,” the Tweet read. “In lieu of practice, the team instead had an open conversation about how to come together as one to unite against social injustice, to discuss practical ways to support hurting teammates, and to take time to pray for God to use the team to create change.”

The Bears marched from the Simpson Athletic Center into the main Baylor campus, making their way around campus streets before convening at Fountain Mall, while still social distancing. Many players held signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” “Unity,” and “We want change.” One sign also read “Differences can no longer divide us.”

Once the team reached Rosenbalm Fountain, sophomore cornerback Byron Hanspard Jr., led the team in prayer.

Players were joined in the march by head coach Dave Aranda and the coaching staff, as well as Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades.

The march comes in the wake of protests by professional athletes across several major sports after the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wis., earlier this week. The NBA and WNBA canceled their slate of playoff games Wednesday. Several MLB and MLS games followed suit.

After much discussion by the NBA’s players association, it was announced that the playoffs would resume and games would be rescheduled, but that they would not play Thursday.

In the MLB, the Miami Marlins and New York Mets took the field on Thursday for a brief moment of silence before walking off the field, leaving behind a “Black Lives Matter” shirt at home plate. The NHL also postponed all of its playoff games scheduled for Thursday and Friday after players refused to take the ice. The Stanley Cup playoffs will resume on Saturday.