The West Virginia University football team’s Social Action Committee for Change published a video Wednesday morning asking fans for support as the 2020 season is set to begin for the Mountaineers during a period of unrest around the nation but also among WVU fans on social media.
The committee — made up of 10 players featured in Wednesday’s video: linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo, receivers T.J. Simmons and Ali Jennings, quarterbacks Jarret Doege and Garrett Greene, center Chase Behrndt, kicker Casey Legg, punter Evan Matthes and safeties Osman Kamara and Alonzo Addae — asked fans to support the Mountaineers on an off the field.
WVU’s players asked Mountaineer fans for respect and support as football players, but also as neighbors, businessmen, young fathers and, “the young Black man who has to face America head-on every day.”
— Chase Behrndt (@BehrndtChase) September 9, 2020
West Virginia safeties coach Dontae Wright also shared a link to the video.
So proud of this group of young men that I’m blessed to work with. Open your hearts and listen. They’re not asking for you to do anything other than treat them equally and love them no matter where they are. Which is… https://t.co/vhpmahi4AT
— Dontae Wright (@CoachWright37) September 9, 2020
There has been a noticeable opposition on social media to West Virginia players taking stands on social issues that support racial equality in recent weeks. Last week, defensive lineman Dante Stills post a photo of a Black Lives Matter sticker on the back of his helmet that he intends to wear this season. Stills’ photo received a lot of push back from some people online who took aim at the Black Lives Matter organization. Several of Stills’ teammates also posted to show support for him and to highlight some of the more negative and nasty reactions sent to WVU players.