On Friday morning, the Oklahoma Sooners football team banded together to march from Memorial Stadium to Unity Garden on South Oval in a show of solidarity against the social injustices Black men and women face on a daily basis in this country. Locked arm-in-arm, Lincoln Riley, redshirt junior C Creed Humphrey and redshirt senior DB Chanse Sylvie led the team-wide movement. With this peaceful display, OU joins other collegiate programs around the nation that have also performed similar demonstrations earlier this week.
Lincoln Riley led his program on a social justice walk across campus this morning. “We wanted to do something together as a team.” pic.twitter.com/y6nmrEpXRD— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) August 28, 2020
With his team behind him, Riley delivered a small speech to the media to discuss the feelings of his student-athletes and coaching staff. The theme for this march was ‘unity’, and it’s a message these Sooners hope to spread throughout their community and beyond.
Here, Riley expounded on when this march was organized and the reasons why his team wanted to be a part of this growing national movement.
Seeing Lincoln Riley and his players dressed in all black and marching together is incredibly reminiscent of the head coach’s first season as Oklahoma’s OC in 2015. Just a couple months after he was hired from ECU, a racially-charged video involving members of OU’s SAE fraternity was released. Shortly thereafter, Bob Stoops, Eric Striker, Trevor Knight and the entire football team took a public stand as one against the hateful sentiments displayed in said video.
1,999 days between these two marches and the message remains the same: Black Lives Matter. pic.twitter.com/Tcy3mGsRAN— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) August 28, 2020
As the news of OU’s march spread around social media, some unexpected comments came from former OU women’s basketball guard Gioya Carter. The Midwest City native lettered for Sherri Coale’s team from 2013-2017, and while she didn’t specify who exactly said these things to her and/or her teammates, she alleges that there were some racially insensitive remarks directed toward her by a coach. This is a story that will likely develop over the next week.
I wish I knew what it felt like to have a head coach at OU like this but instead my 4yrs there was filled with comments like. “You guys act like it happened to you.” “If y’alls long braids hits one of my players in the face” as if the ppl in braids weren’t her players. https://t.co/nU3VTVI2Q3— Gioya Carter (@GioyaCarter25) August 28, 2020
From the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to the nationwide protests and civil unrest, it’s been a long and arduous offseason for everyone. At the very least, it’s certainly one for the history books. Still, while this team has yet to take the field in a real, live football game, it’s already shown that it’s operating as a single unit from the top down. This exemplary display of togetherness ought to be a strength for this year’s group, and that should bode well for its potential success on Saturdays this fall.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Oklahoma hoops still likely leads the pack for five-star forward Daimion Collins, former OU hoops player Jamuni McNeace signs for a pro team in Germany, the NBA is coming back very soon and more!
- Lincoln Riley, his coaching staff and his players all shared this photo on Friday morning, echoing similar messages such as #BlackLivesMatter and #Unity. Powerful stuff.
- According to The Athletic’s Jason Kersey, the Oklahoma football team will not be practicing today following this morning’s march.
The Oklahoma football team will not practice today. #Sooners— Jason Kersey (@jasonkersey) August 28, 2020
- According to team leader Creed Humphrey, the entire OU football team is now registered to vote. This is awesome news.
The whole team took the time to register to vote today. So proud of our players, staff, and everyone involved. #Boomer— Creed Humphrey (@creed_humphrey) August 28, 2020
- Earlier this week, cornerbacks coach Roy Manning spoke about a number of the players he has in the OU secondary, and based on what he said, senior CB Tre Brown is primed for a career best outing this fall. Also, he’s excited about what some of the newcomers are bringing to the equation. Sooner Scoop’s Bob Przybylo has more.
- 2021 four-star OT Savion Byrd was one of the uncommitted recruits who attended last weekend’s ‘Sooner Summit’ in Norman, and he came away amazed with what he saw at OU. The Duncanville, Texas product later discussed why he likes Oklahoma as a possible college choice, and for him it’s about more than the football side of things. SI Sooners’ John Hoover has more.
- According to Rivals basketball recruiting analyst Corey Evans, 2021 blue-chip big man Daimion Collins out of Atlanta, Texas could be close to announcing his verbal commitment, and Oklahoma is perceived to be the favorite in spite of Jai Lucas’ move to Kentucky (and the subsequent offer from the Wildcats). It’s the first true OU-Kentucky recruiting battle since Trae Young. Will the Sooners win again?
- On Thursday, former OU men’s basketball center Jamuni McNeace signed with the Crailsheim Merlins — a German club that plays in the Basketball Bundesliga league. Boomer!
- Don’t forget to check out Allen Kenney’s latest episode of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. This week, he caught up with Brandon Sneed, author of the book ‘Sooner: The Making of a Football Coach’ that chronicles Lincoln Riley’s ascension from humble beginnings in West Texas to the top of the college football world at the University of Oklahoma. You definitely want to listen to this one, folks!
Around the Sports World
- Reportedly, the Big Ten Conference is still discussing options for playing football this fall, including a potential kickoff date around Thanksgiving weekend. What the heck is going on up there?
- After spending three days away from the court to turn up the spotlight on the social injustices against Black Americans, the NBA Playoffs are expected to resume on Saturday, Aug. 29.
- Speaking of playoff basketball, the Houston Rockets expect Russell Westbrook to make his 2020 postseason debut against his former team — the Oklahoma City Thunder — in Game 5 of this first round matchup. Last time out, Chris Paul and company tied up the series at two games apiece, but now ‘Brodie’ is back in action from his quad injury.
- The Texas Longhorns have acquired graduate transfer WR Brenden Schooler, formerly with the Oregon Ducks and Arizona Wildcats. The veteran pass-catcher is coming off a foot injury that sidelined him for most of the 2019 season.
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