Oklahoma student athletes Thursday called for further investigation into the SAE video that depicted several members of the now disbanded fraternity participating in a racist chant during a bus trip. Two members of the fraternity who were seen leading the chant have been expelled from Oklahoma and university president David Boren said more expulsions would be coming once more identifications were made.
“The two students that have already been expelled are only a symptom of a larger disease, a disease perpetuated by the leadership of Sigma Alpha Epsilon,” the statement read. “The chant was not invented by the two that led it, but taught to underclassmen by people of higher authority. As a team, we have come to a consensus that, in any organization, the leadership is responsible for the culture created, an in this case, encouraged.”
— Trevor Knight (@trevor_knight9) March 12, 2015
Oklahoma football also said its protest of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity will continue for the rest of the week.
The statement, posted on the Twitter accounts of several football players, noted the football team would abstain from practice for the third time this week and would not return to the field until after spring break on March 23. Oklahoma players will use Thursday’s practice to demonstrate silently on Owen Field as they have done during other practice times this week. The statement also said the team would continue to wear black on the practice field and during media opportunities as part of the protest.
“We simply cannot wait to get back on the practice field in our pursuit of a national championship,” the statement read, “but even a national championship is not more important than using our platform as student athletes to make our university and our nation a better place.”
The statement also said the goal of the student athletes on the Oklahoma campus was to show their unity despite race and hope that a similar culture is created across the campus.
“Our hope is to shed light on this issue and promote meaningful change at a national level,” the statement read. “But before we can change the nation, we make it our mission to change our campus. We seek to accomplish this goal by stepping out of the spotlight and integrating the student-athlete experience and the student experience. As student athletes of all races, classes, and creeds, we hope to show the university and the community that we are defined by more than the numbers on our jerseys, and that we are human beings that desire to get to know our classmates as we all attempt to end the culture of exclusivity on this campus.”
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