Louis DeLuca/Associated Press
Texas linebacker Juwan Mitchell released a statement on Twitter Wednesday saying he does not “feel comfortable representing The University of Texas”:
Mitchell followed up with another tweet:
Mitchell is one of many Longhorn student-athletes who have spoken out against racism and social injustice in recent days. He is also one of a few football players who have either said or implied that their days at Texas are over.
Of note, Texas wideout Brennan Eagles said that he is “not going to play another snap knowing what’s going in society due to color and the system being broken.”
Defensive back Anthony Cook also said he would not play another snap but deleted his tweet, per Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman.
Mitchell’s comments come days after Longhorn athletes (including members of the football team) sent a list of requests to the school administration and athletic department that included renaming buildings named after racist historical figures, removing the statue of segregationist James Hogg and replacing the school song, “The Eyes of Texas.”
Texas wideout Jordan Whittington posted the letter:
In addition, dozens of football players and coaches also marched from Royal-Memorial Stadium to the state Capitol on June 4, per Davis:
“Call it whatever you want—a George Floyd rally or a Black Lives Matter protest. The name ascribed to this gathering doesn’t particularly matter. It was without question a heartfelt expression of anger from mostly black athletes who are sick and tired of being targeted or judged simply by the color of their skin,” Davis wrote.
Athletic director Chris Del Conte issued the following statement in his “Forty Acres Insider” newsletter, per Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News:
“We love our student-athletes, care so much, and what’s important to them is important for me to hear, even when it’s a difficult conversation. We will begin meeting with them very soon and will have meaningful discussions.
“We understand they will not be easy nor are the solutions simple. But it’s imperative that we take time to listen, talk with one another and develop plans of action in order to continue to make the experience better for the entire Longhorn Family going forward.”
Carlton reported that Del Conte and UT President Jay Hartzell met with members of the football team recently.
Numerous Longhorn alumni have expressed their support for current Longhorns, per Paul Livengood of KVUE, including ex-NFL running back Jamaal Charles, USA softball player and Olympian Cat Osterman and ex-linebacker Derrick Johnson.