Wearing No. 0 means more than just a number for Dede Lenoir originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest
The 2020 college football season has presented new challenges than ever before.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced the college football world into a hiatus with multiple schedule changes, player opt outs, continuous testing, and sudden cancellations. The issues with systemic racism and social injustice gave the players a platform to speak out against these issues and support the Black Lives Matter movement.
It can be a strain both mentally and physically.
But now, the Oregon Ducks and the rest of the Pac-12 are just days away from finally taking the field on a Saturday where Dede Lenoir will be relaying a powerful message.
This season, the jersey No. 0 was made available for the players to wear. The Oregon senior cornerback, who started at No. 15, then moved to No. 6, will now be wearing No. 0 in his final season in Eugene, Oregon.
For Lenoir, this number will represent a powerful message these next seven games:
“I came to the decision, with all the stuff going on in the world with racism, so I just took it as zero tolerance for racism,” said Lenoir.
Lenoir isn’t the only Duck to take a stand this year on social justice issues.
Jevon Holland, who decided to opt out this season and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft, led a campaign to rename one of the halls on the University of Oregon campus:
Start by changing the name of Deady Hall. Who’s named after Matthew Deady. President of the Oregon Constitutional Convention of 1857. He advocated for discrimination against Chinese and Black immigrants, as well as in favor for Slavery In Oregon. https://t.co/K0a6TuOeRS
— Vón🧞 (@HollywoodVon) June 3, 2020
Head coach Mario Cristobal has always been supportive of his players and using their platforms to create change. Cristobal even attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Eugene back in May.
On Saturday when the Ducks host the Stanford Cardinal to open up Pac-12 play, Lenior's message will be heard.