Pac-12 footballers not playing due to COVID-19

Players, most of whom are Black, have spoken out about how the divisional college league is risking their lives.

A lone person stands at a row of box office windows underneath the logos of schools that were scheduled to participate in the Pac-12 Conference men’s basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tournament was canceled in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Pacific-12 Conference football players are threatening to not compete this season due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

In a press release and statements published by The Players’ Tribune, PAC-12 players from nine colleges expressed disapproval of the season’s resumption. Many are protesting the decision using thehashtag #WeAreUnited on social media.

READ MORE: Oregon State athlete uses N-word, calls Black people ‘field workers’ in rant

The press release highlights Pac-12 players’ fears about catching the coronavirus and touches on the organization’s lack of transparency.

Players, most of whom are Black, have spoken out about how the divisional college league is risking their lives.

“Since the system is willing to risk our health and safety in the midst of the global pandemic, we must look out for each other,” Oregon State defensive back Jaydon Grant said in a statement.

“With so much uncertainty around COVID, we cannot wait until it strikes the world of college football. We must act now to ensure our safety playing the game we all love, and that is why we are united,” he continued.

Arizona and California make up half of the Pac-12 schools, and they have also been impacted the most by the coronavirus. California has more cases than any other state.

A Pac-12 spokesman, Andrew Walker, responded to the backlash, saying,
“neither the conference nor our university athletics departments have been contacted by this group regarding these topics.”

READ MORE: Iowa football maintains staff after inquiry finds racial bias, bullying in program

“We support our student-athletes using their voices, and have regular communications with our student-athletes at many different levels on a range of topics,” Walker continued.

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