Nebraska players’ protest on Saturday has not been met kindly by everyone associated with the University.
Ahead of the Huskers’ game against Northwestern, three Nebraska players—Michael Rose-Ivey, DaiShon Neal and Mohamed Barry—took part in the protests popularized by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, taking a knee during the national anthem.
Hal Daub, a UNL regent and former mayor of Omaha, believes the three players should be kicked off of the team for their actions. He discussed this stance with the Lincoln Journal-Star:
“It’s a free country. They don’t have to play football for the university either.
“They know better, and they had better be kicked off the team,” he added. “They won’t take the risk to exhibit their free speech in a way that places their circumstance in jeopardy, so let them get out of uniform and do their protesting on somebody else’s nickel.”
On Monday, Rose-Ivey said that he and his teammates have received death threats and serious backlash for their protests. Head coach Mike Riley has come out in support of his players after the protest. From Omaha.com:
“Michael approached me about it and wanted to talk to the team,” coach Mike Riley said. “And so we set a time this morning — after one of our walk-throughs — so he could explain to the team. I didn’t know anybody else was going to do it, but that’s OK. This is obviously a choice they have made for personal reasons and that’s the beautiful thing about the United States that they can do that.”
We would be pretty shocked if Riley and Nebraska discipline the three players at all after that Monday statement. Still, if the protests continue, we expect to hear plenty more from those, like Daub, who disagree with their actions.
Nebraska football hosts Illinois on Saturday. We will see if the Nebraska players’ protest continues in Week 5.