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WVU Student-Athletes Plan ‘Mountaineers United Walk’ for ‘Inclusion, Equality, Change’

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The West Virginia University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has planned a “Mountaineers United Walk” this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. starting at the Jerry West statue outside the WVU Coliseum.

The walk is to promote inclusion, equality and change, according to the SAAC’s infographic.

Talking with reporters yesterday, WVU football wide receiver T.J. Simmons talked about the football team’s desire for change.

“On behalf of the West Virginia football team, our thoughts and prayers go out to Jacob Blake and his family,” Simmons started. “Everybody knows the incident that went down this past week and we just wanted to say we want change in this world and the WVU football team is one team who’s promoting change and we’re trying to figure out things that we can do to push for change in this county.”

Simmons said the march Sunday is meant to show that WVU student-athletes are united in their advocacy.

“Show we’re united as a football team and as an athletic department at West Virginia,” Simmons said. “We’re looking to make change in the world.”

WVU football head coach Neal Brown challenged the team this week, according to Simmons, to think about ways they can create change.

“Coach Brown proposed a question to us just yesterday and said ‘what can I do to create change?’. One thing that I wrote down was to use my platform, to use my voice to spread the word,” Simmons said. “Just being who I am I realized that I have a big platform and a lot of people listen to what I say.”

A redshirt-senior, Simmons said his ability to stand up and speak out for what he believes comes from his years of experience at WVU.

“Me, as a redshirt-freshman, I was outspoken but I wasn’t really the guy that was going to stand up and lead the group,” Simmons said. “I was still in the background trying to figure out who I was and trying to find my way. With the years of experience that I have, I’m more opened to talk and speak out on things.”

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Cody spent the last two years getting his master's degree in journalism from WVU. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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