LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) A Nebraska football player who kneeled during the national anthem before the game at Northwestern on Saturday night said he and his family have received racially-charged criticism on social media.
Senior linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey read an impassioned statement during the Cornhuskers’ weekly media availability on Monday. Rose-Ivey and two teammates, freshmen Mohamed Barry and DaiShon Neal, took a knee during the anthem.
Former high school classmates, friends, peers and some Huskers fans swiftly criticized the group on Facebook and Twitter, he said.
“Some believe DaiShon, Mohamed and myself should be kicked off the team or suspended, while some said we deserved to be lynched or shot just like the other black people who have died recently. Others believe we should be hung before the anthem before the next game. These are actual statements we receive from fans,” he said.
Rose-Ivey said the players were joining in solidarity with San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other professional and amateur athletes who are kneeling or otherwise protesting racial injustice and police brutality.
“We did it understanding the implications of these actions,” Rose-Ivey said, “but what we didn’t expect was the enormous amount of hateful, racially motivated comments we received from friends, peers, fans and members of the media about the method of protest.”
He said the reactions “further underscore the need for this protest and give us just a small glimpse into the persistent problem of race, racism in this country and the divisive mentality of some Americans.”
Rose-Ivey said a number of people also sent him messages of support. “That feels good, because it seems like the negative outweighs the positive,” he said.