Rashod Bateman changes jersey number as a call to end racism originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Minnesota receiver Rashod Bateman, who previously opted on Aug. 4 to begin preparing for the NFL draft, was recently cleared by the NCAA to return to the field, the team announced Wednesday.
Bateman initially decided to opt out due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bateman was the Big Ten wide receiver of the year in 2019 after snagging 60 receptions for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Agent 0 checking in. Thanks to everyone who made this possible, Let’s ROW ❤️ pic.twitter.com/3VCdHSMKCR— Rashod Bateman (@R_bateman2) September 30, 2020
"I feel like the safest and best way to move forward is here at the University of Minnessota," Bateman said in his announcement video.
"We've got work left to be done as a team and a society."
Bateman also announced that he will be changing his jersey number from No. 13 to No. 0 to represent "zero tolerance for racism in this culture," a call to end racism in society.
The No. 0 wasn't previously allowed in NCAA football, but a recommendation in February by the NCAA Football Rules Committee changed that, in response to the popularity of single-digit numbers.