On Thursday, the UK football team staged a walk-out of the day’s practice in protest of the recent events involving social injustices towards African-Americans. Another active student-athlete in protesting for racial equality is Kentucky basketball forward Keion Brooks Jr., who is a part of the NABC Player Development Coalition and the SEC Council on Racial Inequality and Social Justice.
Brooks met with the media on Friday to discuss fighting for social justice and racial equality as an athlete, and called for fans on the outside to view them as more than men running around on a court or a field.
“I think people have a difficult time separating the athletes from the sports that they play,” he said. “Just because I represent Kentucky basketball and go out and play in Rupp Arena, that does not mean I’m not a person that has morals, values and opinions and views of certain things.”
“We’re people that have strong views on topics, just like the fans do. I think they just want us to go out there an entertain them for an hour or two and then just shut up, but that’s not going to work. That’s not how it is.”
A big topic of discussion in the last month has been the request from the African American and Africana Studies Program to have the Rupp Arena name to be changed. Although Brooks says he is not completely up-to-date on the situation, he would also be looking for a change in the name.
“Being honest, I haven’t educated myself enough on Adolph Rupp, or the whole situation at hand to really give my thoughts on it, but from what I do know, I would like to see a name change, just basically because what his name is and what that’s connected to and what it kind of represents,” he said. “That’s really all I can say, but I would like to see a name change.”
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