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Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond again helped lead the charge to have a statue removed from campus on Friday night, though he and his fellow marchers were met by counter-protesters guarding the statue in the process.
Mond first joined in on calls to remove the on-campus statue of former Texas A&M president Lawrence Sullivan Ross earlier this month. The statue, known as “Sully,” has been there since 1919. The former university president also served as a general in the Confederate Army, was a Texas Ranger and the state’s 19th governor.
Mond, along with several of his teammates and fellow students, marched to the statue on Friday night.
“It takes action,” Mond said on Friday, via the Houston Chronicle’s Brent Zwerneman. “We’re out here because we’re trying to create change … I think it was very good. I think the march was great, being able to express our words in front of not just Black people but other allies who understand the frustrations of Black people.”
That march, however, didn’t go entirely smoothly.
Mond and the others ran into counter-protesters who were guarding the statue, something that created some intense moments and stare-downs. The ignorance of the counter-protesters, Mond said, was some of the worst he’s ever seen.
Mond recorded nearly 2,900 yards and had 20 touchdowns last season his third with the team. He’s started 36 games for the Aggies headed into his senior season this fall.
The 21-year-old, along with teammates Jhamon Ausbon and Keeath Magee, addressed the crowd at the statue, too.
Though there are plenty who oppose Mond’s and others’ calls to have the statue removed, Mond did receive support from several teammates, coach Jimbo Fisher and former Aggies Johnny Manziel and Ryan Tannehill.
His love for the university hasn’t wavered throughout this process either, Mond said, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of room for it to improve.
“I feel like we can be so much better as people,” Mond said. “Not just me, but everyone else on this campus, alumni and people around this area.
“A lot of people say that racism doesn’t happen on campus, but a lot of the tweets and the hashtags, they’ve proven that statement to be wrong. I feel like this university, it’s a great university, but it also has a lot more to change.”
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