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Red Raider football players ask fans for respect as they join protest

Updated: Aug. 27, 2020 at 9:57 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Members of the Texas Tech Red Raider football team have announced some players are choosing not to play in order to join other sports teams around the country refusing to play as a protest against police brutality.

Red Raider Defensive Back Cameron Watts posted a copy of a release to his social media on Thursday, saying: “Rather than pretend these problems don’t exist and maintain a practice schedule that does not take into consideration the mental health issues derived from seeing our fellow citizens beaten and murdered in the streets on a daily basis, we will instead use this time to discuss these issues amongst ourselves and decide how best to move forward in a manner that will allow us to effectuate change here in Lubbock as well as the cities we call home.”

The statement does not detail how many members of the team will be taking part in this protest, but the statement was posted on the social media pages of several players.

In the statement, players say they know a portion of Red Raider fans will not understand or support their decision, but they ask the public to respect their right to peacefully protest.

“The very blood that fuels the heart we display every Saturday on the field also stimulates our minds to be the change we want to see in the world,” the statement reads.

Head coach Matt Wells posted a statement to social media, saying the Texas Tech football program is committed to continuing to fight against social injustice.

Staff have confirmed with KCBD that the scheduled practice for Friday will not take place.

The Texas Tech Athletics Department posted a statement in support of the players Friday morning, saying their first priority is the well-being of student-athletes.

Texas Tech Athletic Department response to players joining protest
Texas Tech Athletic Department response to players joining protest(Texas Tech Athletic Department/Facebook)

Players with various sports across the country have recently chosen to step away from the bench to direct attention to protests discussing police use of force and racial injustice following the recent officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

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