Texas Tech’s Matt Wells and Krista Gerlich Respond to Player Protests
The professional sports world has been engulfed in politics for several years now. The back and forth of protests, and reaction to the protests, from both the professional leagues and fans have put a cloud over what was entertaining escapism.
You can't watch an NBA game without seeing "Black Lives Matter" emblazoned on the court in the bubble. NBA players don't have names on their jerseys; they have statements.
You don't watch the NBA? The MLB has special logos on the mound and had presentations before the first week of games trying to promote unity. The NFL has plans to do the same kind of thing when the league starts in September. Even the NHL took a night off in solidarity.
You can argue the merits of mixing politics and sports until you're blue in the face. That doesn't change the fact that it's arrived, and that college sports will also be involved.
After the Milwaukee Bucks' boycott of Game 5 of their playoff series sent the sports world into a flurry of postponements and cancellations, some Texas Tech players started tweeting out a unified statement.
Many players tweeted the statement, but here's team captain Riko Jeffers:
I'm not here to break down the message. What I think about it doesn't change the fact that the Texas Tech football team is showing a unified front and wants to take some time to get on the same page with each other.
This statement did not go through the coaches or administration, but it is being supported by head coach Matt Wells, who said: "I stand beside them and with them in support and love."
After the statement was released, reports confirmed that Texas Tech had indeed canceled practice on Friday, August 28th.
Similarly, new Lady Raiders coach Krista Gerlich supported player JoNah Johnson, who also spoke out on Twitter, saying: "I'm in the business of empowering women, ALL women of all colors."