NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma football team held a silent demonstration to protest a racist fraternity video. The protest is the latest reaction to a viral video that shows members of OU's SAE fraternity using a racist chant during a bus ride over the weekend.
The entire football team walked on Owen Field, linking arms and calling for social change.
"The entire message is coming together, not just in the locker room, but nationwide," said Trevor Knight.
"This is not what we signed up for, but we felt an opportunity to promote social change because we can," said Ty Darlington.
— Sterling Shepard (@sterl_shep3) March 12, 2015
"This single incident brings to the surface pervasive issues that must be confronted and resolved in order for the university to move forward," a statement from the University of Oklahoma football team read. "These types of incidents occur nationwide every single year, and our hope is to shed light on this issue and promote meaningful change at a national level. But before we can change the nation, we make it our mission to change our campus."
"As student-athletes of all races, classes, and creeds, we hope to show the university and the community that we are defined by more than the numbers on our jerseys, and that we are human beings that desire to get to know our classmates as we all attempt to end the culture of exclusivity on this campus," the statement continued.
Still, members of the football team and head coach Bob Stoops want SAE leadership held accountable, as well.
"I think a big concern is how far up does this go?" said Stoops. "In their eyes, this is learned behavior, and it was learned somewhere."
The athletes called on the school's administration to continue to look into the leadership at Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The team also asked that the leadership of SAE be expelled, suspended or disciplined severely.
"The chant was not invented by the two that led it, but was taught to underclassmen by people of higher authority."
The team also announced that it will not be practicing on Thursday. Instead, the members will silently demonstrate on Owen Field.
When the team returns to practice after spring break, members will be wearing black to bring attention to the situation.
"We simply cannot wait to get back on the practice field in our pursuit of a national championship, but even a national championship is not more important than using our platform as student athletes to make our university and our nation a better place," the statement read.