Oklahoma’s Football Team Protests the Racist Frat Video With a Moment of Silence


The University of Oklahoma football team stood arm-in-arm in black shirts Thursday in silent protest of the now-infamous video showing members of the campus Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter singing a racist chant.

Quarterback Trevor Knight posted a statement on Twitter on behalf of the team, urging the university to continue its investigation and declaring that the team would not practice this week. “These types of incidents occur nationwide every single year, and our hope is to shed light on this issue and promote meaningful change at a national level,” the statement read. 

While African American students make up only five percent of the university’s student population, the perennial bowl contenders represent a high-profile and influential group of mostly black students. Shortly after the video went viral, senior linebacker and captain Erik Striker criticized “phony ass” supporters who cheer for the team while insisting racism doesn’t exist. On Monday, highly rated high school football recruit Jean Delance decommitted from Oklahoma, citing the video. Then, on Tuesday, the university expelled two fraternity members and shut down the chapter. University president David Boren told USA Today he expected more students to be disciplined as the school continues to investigate.

Athletic director Joe Castiglione has promised that the athletic department and Boren will meet with the football captains after spring break to discuss the investigation. 

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

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