Earlier this week, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz responded to the blowback Drew Brees received for his comments about kneeling during the national anthem.
Ferentz said whatever decision the team makes, whether standing or kneeling, he wants the team to be unified. A former Hawkeye star responded to his former coach’s comments.
Star lineman James Daniels said, “If the team collectively decides to kneel, this will bring about a cultural change for both Iowa football and the state of Iowa which I believe is long overdue.” Daniels suggested there are too many “racial disparities” in the Iowa football program.
Immediately after Daniels’ comments, other former players shared their experiences within the program. Many players called out strength coach Chris Doyle for his conduct.
Manny Rugamba shared details of Doyle’s alleged racially insensitive comments. He was not alone in singling the strength coach out for alleged misconduct.
— Emmanuel Rugamba (@BooRadd_) June 6, 2020
Star defensive back Amani Hooker also weighed in. He suggested it was “difficult” for black players to be themselves when walking around the facility.
“I remember whenever walking into the facility it would be difficult for black players to walk around the facility and be themselves,” Hooker said on Twitter. “As if the way you grew up was the wrong way or wasn’t acceptable & that you would be judge by that and it would impact playing time.”
It’s not a good look for the Iowa program.