K-State Athletic Director Gene Taylor supports player boycotts

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 5:47 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - It was an early Friday morning when Kansas State Athletic Director Gene Taylor noticed a missed call from head coach Chris Klieman.

“I looked at my phone, there was a couple texts, please call the call and I called him he said, ‘Have you seen Twitter?' And I said, ‘No, I really want looked at it.' And he says, ‘We’ve got some issues” Taylor said.

That is how athletic director Gene Taylor learned a tweet from a Kansas State student had gone viral.

“I think there was a lot of range of emotions everything from anger and frustration to you know sadness and hurt.” Taylor said.

Soon after, countless athletes said they won't play until the university punishes acts of racism.

“They care a great deal about K-State.” Taylor said. “They care a great deal about their sport, but they want to make sure that their voices are heard and we have been listening. We’re going to continue to listen.”

Taylor says Kansas State has always allowed student athletes to be vocal in the community. He says their voices are powerful. And they have a right to stand up for what they believe in.

“It’s an issue that they want to take out.” Taylor said. “That’s a little bit bigger than X’s and O’s and what goes on within a team.”

Taylor says these student-athletes have the support of the athletic department while they boycott.

“I think we want them to stand up for their rights and stand up for racism and things that have been going on lately.” Taylor said.

Taylor and other members of the athletic department have been on countless calls with athletes. The end goal is to bring both unity and change.

“I’m very proud of how they’re handling it.” Taylor said. “I’m very proud of how our athletes have come together. They’re going to grow together, not only as individuals and as teams, but as a department and we’re going to get through this and we’re all going to be better for it.”

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