Nebraska linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey says he and two teammates who knelt during the national anthem Saturday have received threats and racial backlash.
Rose-Ivey, along with linebacker Mohamed Barry and defensive end DaiShon Neal, took a knee during the anthem before Saturday's win over Northwestern. Rose-Ivey told reporters today he had been called racial slurs on Twitter and been told he deserved to be lynched and shot.
"Some believe DaiShon, Mohamed and myself should be kicked off the team or suspended, while some said we deserved to be lynched or shot like the other black people who have died recently," Rose-Ivey said before collecting himself. "Another believed that since we didn't want to stand for the anthem that we should be hung before the anthem at the next game."
Rose-Ivey also posted a lengthy statement on Twitter Monday afternoon, detailing the positions of he and his teammates in-depth. In part, he said "I am not anti-police, anti-military or anti-America. I love my country deeply and appreciate all the freedoms it professes to afford me" but added that he and his teammates were joining Colin Kaepernick and other athletes who had been "standing together and using our various platforms to bring awareness about police brutality and the recent deaths of black men and women at the hands of police officers."
The threats of violence and racist responses are unfortunate, whether you agree with Rose-Ivey and his teammates or not. On the flipside, Rose-Ivey's statement today has drawn plenty of support from Husker fans. He's also engaged in healthy debate with those who say they disagree about his method of protest.
For what it's worth, Nebraska head coach Mike Riley supported his players' decision in his post-game comments Saturday.