Oklahoma, Texas, among college football teams to cancel training amid Jacob Blake shooting protests

Several college football programs did not train on Thursday or Friday, and instead followed the NBA’s lead in protesting racial injustice in the country. Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Kentucky, South Florida, Boston College, Western Kentucky, Appalachian State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Baylor have either canceled the practice or held training outings following the Jacob shooting Blake by police in Wisconsin on Sunday.

Most of the teams that stayed off the field Thursday opted instead to meet as a team with Boston College coach Jeff Hafley, saying players and coaches from the Eagles’ program have spoken in front of the team.

“It was very touching and it was very moving,” Hafley said. “Then we split into small groups and continued these conversations. It probably lasted longer than our practice would have been.”

A similar situation happened in Kentucky, where coach Mark Stoops supported his players as they decided not to train, according to defensive end Josh Paschal, who spoke to reporters.

“He knows it’s a problem and he knows there are things to talk about and actions to take,” Paschal said. “He was ready to stand with us and fight for us no matter what we decided.”

Kentucky weren’t the only Bluegrass State program to focus on more than football on Thursday. Western Kentucky coach Tyson Helton issued a statement saying the Hilltoppers have met “regarding current events in our country.”

“We had a very constructive conversation between our players and our coaches,” Helton said in a statement. “I have made the decision to cancel tonight’s practice so that our current focus can stay on these issues. We plan to get back on the pitch tomorrow and continue having these important conversations as a team in the future. “

Mississippi State players decided to come together in a park near campus to protest injustice while Ole Miss led their protest on Friday morning at oxford city center. Also on Friday, Oklahoma and Texas Tech players took the time to rally in protest, with the Sooners crossing campus as the Red Raiders called off practice.

The collective action across college football followed a landmark decision by NBA teams on Wednesday not to make the playoffs amid continuing unrest due to police brutality. The NBA is expected to resume its playoffs at some point, although no schedule has been announced.

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