On Saturday prior to Nebraska’s game against Northwestern, three players joined the protest started by Colin Kaepernick by taking a knee during the national anthem. The players, senior Michael Rose-Ivey and red-shirt freshmen Daishon Neal and Mohamed Barry reportedly received death threats and other racist remarks over social media in response to their protest as Rose-Ivey spoke about yesterday.
Now, a member of the school’s board of regents says that the players should be kicked off the team for their protest. Hal Daub, a former Omaha, Nebraska mayor, spoke with the Lincoln Journal-Star yesterday and expressed his displeasure with the student-athletes over the protest:
“It’s a free country,” Daub told the Journal Star on Tuesday. “They don’t have to play football for the university either.
“They know better, and they had better be kicked off the team.”
Daub later denied saying that the players should be removed from the team in a phone call to the Journal Star, but he stood by his other comments on the players.
“They won’t take the risk to exhibit their free speech in a way that places their circumstance in jeopardy, so let them get out of uniform and do their protesting on somebody else’s nickel,” he said.”
Criticism of the players also came from Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts, who called the players’ actions “disgraceful and disrespectful” during his radio show on Monday. The Cornhuskers head coach, Mike Riley, however, is standing behind his players and said that he would invite the governor and Mr. Daub to have a conversation with the players according to Omaha.com:
“That would be totally up to the players,” Riley said. “They took an opportunity with a situation to make a point. Which I respect. Within the confines of our team, it was well-respected by our team, and I love that. And all these guys are just beautiful guys who are really thoughtful. When they did that, there was a ton of thought that went into it. I really, truly believe there are tons of opinions across this country about something like this. And I’m not going to worry about that. I have a firm belief about what I think is right and wrong. What other people say, they’re certainly entitled to say. I have respect for the fact that they can say it.”
Nebraska returns to the field this weekend at home against Illinois with kick-off slated for 3:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.