As Iowa Football Battles Allegations of Racial Disparity, Let’s (Again) Give Thanks for PJ Fleck Here in Minnesota
As you know, racial equality protests have sprung up across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death. This has caused some college football players and coaches to speak up about their encounters with racism. Two teams you are hearing from most, are the Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Gophers.
While both teams and players are all over social and main stream media outlets right now, the two cases are drastically different.
For Iowa, both past and present players are speaking out about their encounters with racism inside the Hawkeye’s program. Dozens of examples come from this article, by The Athletic’s Scott Dochterman, outlining the encounters of racism that Iowa players are alleging.
Basically, players have accused Iowa’s strength and conditioning coach, Chris Doyle, of being a racist. Doyle was put on administrative leave yesterday. Some of the stories are eye-opening, to say the least. Here are only a couple, (find many more examples in the linked article). Current Viking, Jaleel Johnson, was one of the many former Hawkeyes to speak out. Just a few hours ago, Chris Doyle released his own statement, via Twitter.
Coach Doyle is the problem in that building. And so is Brian ferentz. Things won’t progress until those two fix themselves. They know they’re a problem. KF isn’t. I respect coach ferentz wholeheartedly. It’s the other in the building.— Jaleel Johnson (@leellxvii) June 6, 2020
PJ Fleck has been visual throughout the last couple of weeks too… but for all of the right reasons. He is showing (again) why we need to sign him to a lifetime contract ASAP. Fleck appeared on television and radio multiple times in the past couple weeks, taking the lead on a subject many coaches won’t touch. One of these appearances happened last week, on ESPN’s “First Take”.
“As an educator, a teacher, a head coach in 2020, it is our obligation to take what is happening around the world at certain times and be there to teach and educate our students and give them a platform to be able to make sure that their voice is heard… This is the generation that can change this… to make sure that this social injustice stops.” — P.J Fleck
And that’s not just talk. He’s applauded current and former players Rashod Bateman, Brevyn Spann-Ford, Carter Coughlin, and countless others for using their platform so their voices are heard.
Also, Rashod Bateman has been all over the recent events, and his Twitter timeline shows it. He has gone on radio, appeared at rallies, and has posted apparel, with all the proceeds going to the Floyd family.
Let Us Give Thanks…
From PJ Fleck and his staff, down to all of the elite players throughout… it’s a blessing to have this program at the University of Minnesota. Especially right now, with Minneapolis as the epicenter of the BLM movement.
Now, no matter what you believe about the current happenings around the country, we know support, love, and the ability to be heard, is important in a FAMILY setting. The Gophers clearly have all of those things in their locker room. Like PJ says, the world can learn a lot from a well-functioning college football locker room, which is a melting pot of personalities and life experiences.
Now, whose typing up that lifetime contract for PJ Fleck?
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan