The University of Memphis announced that “Black Lives Matter” decals would be placed on the helmet of every football player — sparking widespread anger among fans and alumni.Coincidentally, the announcement came right after season ticket sales closed. So those of you who believe that all lives matter will not have the chance to get your money back.
University President David Rudd defended the taxpayer-funded school’s decision in a Twitter post.
“I want to make clear this does not represent endorsement of any political entity or affiliate group,” he wrote. “It represents a commitment to social justice and American values we all embrace but have not fully realized as a country.”
However, Rudd’s statement references “Black Lives Matter,” not Black lives matter — an important distinction.Rudd said the nation is going through difficult and divisive times. He did not mention that it was primarily due to Black Lives Matter protesters and other Marxist groups causing mayhem in the streets.
“As a veteran who served during the Gulf War, I can speak personally to an unwavering dedication to our constitutional values with a passionate and steadfast commitment to liberty, equality and free speech,” he wrote. ‘The exercise of free speech is essential to a representative republic.”
“Does that mean that President Rudd would allow football players to wear “Make America Great Again” decals on their helmets? How about ‘Jesus Saves’ decals,” asked nationally syndicated talk show host Todd Starnes.Rudd said he supports the football program and their head coach and praised their leadership for supporting the Marxist group.
Furious Tiger fans took to social media in disgust.
“Nooo. Don’t let the team become a political tool,” wrote one fan. “Why do you have to be caught up in political shenanigans?”
“I refuse to support my university any longer in sports or annual donations. No support as long as you legitimize a Marxist group largely responsible for anarchy in the streets,” wrote another.
“Sports is for entertainment and to escape for awhile from a crazy world we live in,” Derek explains, “whether it be the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s etc – brining in politics with a specific group on a national level that promotes anti-american agendas which support antifa, removing Jesus and promoting killing is tough to swallow. Saying people of one color or every color deserve equal treatment is clearly understood.”
Others feel that the move is a display of unity and isn’t political at all.
“Way to go Coach Silverfield!” Facebook user Wendy says. “Thanks for letting our guys know you stand with them, on & off the field and they are not just another player to you!”
Many stood up in defense of the move by the Tigers head coach.
“Y’all are ridiculous,” Damen says, “this isn’t political, it’s the coach letting his guys know he has their back and he’s listening. Would you rather he be like Gundy at Oklahoma St? Get behind this team fully or go be a TN fan.”
While the display appears to be in support of the Black Lives Matter organization, head coach Ryan Silverfield tells the Commercial Appeal that this isn’t the case.
“The use of the ‘BLM’ logo on a helmet decal was an idea from our student-athletes,” Silverfield explains. “It doesn’t mean we support any anti-American, violent organization or hate group or any specific political party. In fact, I love this country and I love our players. Rather, the decal is a show of support to our team.”