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The eyes of change are upon you



June 12, 2020

Black players at UT demand change

     Texas defensive lineman Marqez Bimage says that on behalf of the UT student-athlete body, he wants ‘The Eyes of Texas” to be replaced with another song and several UT buildings to be renamed among other changes. 

It's not the first time the song has been a point of contention. In 2018, the school government proposed ending the song tradition.

The University of Texas, at least originally, had very clear minstrel connections,” Ted Gordon, the vice provost for diversity said at that time. “(‘The Eyes of Texas’) was first sung and played at a minstrel show which featured performers in black face.”

The song was written and performed in a period of intense anti-black sentiment in Texas, Gordon said. The question at hand was whether it is possible to distinguish between the song’s racist past and its place as a University tradition and declaration of school spirit. SG representatives considered whether to stop singing the song within their own meetings, a tradition that has gone back for several administrations.

Gordon said the song was established in 1903 during a period of lynchings and Jim Crow society, but he did not offer the assembly a solution for whether they should sing the song or not.  

“This is definitely about minstrelsy and past racism,” Gordon said. “It’s also definitely about school pride. One question is whether it can be both those things or whether it can be one or the other.”

University-wide representative Cole Deutch suggested that the racist connotations are no longer a reality, and the song can be used as an educational tool of the University’s past.

Other student-athletes from varying sports at UT banded together, sharing a statement on their social media accounts calling for change from the University of Texas regarding racial injustice.

If these demands are not met, the athletes say they will continue to practice and participate in all required team activities for the upcoming season. Still, they will not be participating in recruiting incoming players or any donor-related events.

A large number of athletes hopped on the trend on Friday afternoon, including Brennan Eagles, TaQuon Graham, Josh Thompson, Caden Sterns, Keondre Coburn, Kenyatta Watson, Ayodele Adeoye, Marqez Bimage and more.

Here is the statement released by the group::



Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

 Follow @AASNSports on Twitter, or me, @RanDeBord

Attributes: AASNSports; Twitter

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