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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: OU football players participate in Better Together March

On Thursday, OU football players and other student-athletes joined OU students in the Better Together March.

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Over the past week, the University of Oklahoma has been in the news for negative events. More than one recent recorded incident of people sporting ‘blackface’ has cast a negative spotlight on OU and the culture it has worked to build. On Thursday, hundreds of students marched to protest the racist behavior exhibited by a few. Several of those students who participated in the Better Together March were also athletes.

From left to right you see football players Tre Norwood, Kenneth Murray, Neville Gallimore, Kenneth Mann, Mykel Jones and Nick Basquine, with many more on the scene including Robert Barnes, Grant Calcaterra, Jordan Parker and Levi Draper. Also in attendance were members of the softball team like Shay Knighten, men’s basketball players Jamuni McNeace, Rashard Odomes and Miles Reynolds, and players from the women’s basketball team.

The tape over some of the students’ mouths says #StillUnheard. The silent march, led by the OU Black Student Association, set out to send a message to the university’s administration, namely school president Jim Gallogly. Reportedly, among the list of demands were requests to change leadership starting at the top as well as reforming the policy on hate-speech consequences.

It hasn’t been four full years since the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity incident that saw an entire bus load of students chanting a racist song. Former school president David Boren swiftly abolished Oklahoma’s SAE chapter after video of said incident surfaced, and to this day it is still no longer part of the campus’s Greek network.

Meanwhile, Gallogly has only been on the job for about half a year and already there are calls for his resignation if not termination. How he has handled this situation has been heavily scrutinized for both the initial ruling as well as the delayed timing.

In all, it is clear that there is still a lot of work to be done on several levels for those involved. What has been promising is the amount of support for and leadership displayed by the OU BSA. The student-athletes at Oklahoma are also tremendous players on this stage. With their high-profile status, they have the ability to represent all that Oklahoma Sooners stand for. Even in times like these, whenever those young men and women take a stand for justice, whatever hope that may have been lost in the process can be gradually restored.

Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links. Nick Saban still has nothing but love for Jalen Hurts, NFL scouts are playing close attention to Austin Seibert, Paul George is an NBA All-Star starter and more!

OU Links

  • This has been a long time coming, but Oklahoma Memorial stadium is finally updating its bleachers. I hope it’s all finished by the time the Spring Game gets here. It’s going to be sweet!
  • Remember Kundarrius Taylor? The 2018 signee ended up at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi, but OU has still been pursuing him. On Thursday, the 2020 prospect released a list of three remaining contenders, which included the Sooners.
  • Former Oklahoma defensive analyst turned interim outside linebackers coach Bob Diaco was hired at Louisiana Tech as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator on Thursday. All the best, coach!
  • Ben Powers’ draft stock is starting to soar after impressing scouts and analysts at the Senior Bowl practices. I know I can hardly wait to watch him maul D-linemen for the next 10-15 years in the league.
  • Former kicker/punter Austin Seibert was named Special Teams Practice Player of the Week at the Senior Bowl practices. Congratulations, Big Seib!
  • Speaking of Seibert, the power he has on his kicks is standing out in a big way. Go get that money, young fella.
  • Sooner basketball takes on Vanderbilt this Saturday, and during the game the football team will be honored after winning the 2018 Big 12 Championship.
  • Four of the next five games for the men’s basketball team will be played at the Lloyd Noble Center, so it’ll be crucial that fans show up in a big way for each of these upcoming contests. Lon Kruger wants you to fill those seats and be loud for 40 minutes, Sooner Nation. Boomer!

Around the Sports World

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Terrance Ferguson leaps so effortlessly. For example, like when he sprang right over a standing Solomon Hill. My goodness gracious.
  • OKC Thunder forward Paul George was named a starter for the Western Conference, along with the eventual MVP James Harden, LeBron James, Steph Curry and the slithery Kevin Durant.
  • Five-star USC early enrollee Bru McCoy has reportedly entered his name into the transfer portal after signing with the Trojans just last month. Texas is now considered the favorite to land the talented wide receiver.
  • The Chicago Bears are reportedly working out up to seven kickers after Cody Parkey’s infamous miss off the field goal post in the postseason. I guess the Bears finally ran out of patience for the kicker with a terrible run of bad luck.
  • There aren’t usually a lot of goals scored in a soccer game, but when something like this happens, I can’t help but be totally amazed. He split three pairs of legs for this goal. WHAT?

Stick to Sports!

  • If you know how many claps are in the theme song for the hit sitcom “Friends” off the top of your head without singing it to yourself, you’re a true trivia wizard. Check out this clip of Matt LeBlanc aka Joey Tribbiani and The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon as they settle the debate between the number of claps in the Friends intro.

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