1000 x 90

App State Football Cancels Practice, Marches Through Downtown Boone Instead

By Harley Nefe

The App State football team led a peaceful protest against racial injustice through downtown Boone and the college campus on Friday evening that began around 5:30 p.m.

Members of the team carried a sign at the front of the group that read, “End injustice together.”

This is the same message the App State Football Facebook account posted on its page Thursday with the following image:

The App State football team also posted a video on its Instagram page where App State defensive lineman Elijah Diarrassouba said, “And if we’re going to do it, we got to do it together, and I’m not just speaking about Black athletes, I’m speaking on behalf of the Black community because we are struggling right now.”

Diarrassouba further said in the video, “I come from the police pulling guns on me. I come from all that, man. But I don’t have hate toward nobody, because my mamma always told me, ‘One day it’s going to get better if you stand for what you believe in, and don’t let nobody change that about you.’”

Other App State teams and organizations also participated in the demonstration along with coaches, staff and community members.

This event comes after the App State football team made the decision to not hold practice on Thursday due to racial injustice issues in the country. Instead, the team used the time to discuss the issues together.

At the end of the protest, the crowd put their hands in and shouted, “3, 2, 1. End injustice together!

Professional baseball, basketball, and hockey teams offered up similar peaceful protests over the past few days, including NBA teams and NHL teams boycotting playoff games on Wednesday and Thursday. Multiple MLB games, WNBA and MLS games were postponed on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as players took a stand against racial injustice following another violent police encounter that saw Jacob Blake, 29, an African American man shot four times in the back at close range attempting to get into his vehicle.

Kenosha Police Department Officers, who are not required to wear body cameras, responded to a call of a “domestic incident” on August 23. Blake’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, stated that Blake was attempting to break up a fight between two individuals when officers arrived. Bystanders reported that officers had placed Blake in a headlock and attempted to use a taser on him. As Blake started to get into his vehicle, officer Rusten Sheskey grabbed hold of Blake’s shirt and fired seven shots at close range, wounding him with four of them. Blake is paralyzed from the waist down according to his father, Jacob Blake Sr.