July 12, 2024

Saturday’s K-State Football Season Opener to Serve as Unity Game

(Courtesy of Kansas State Athletics)

MANHATTAN, Kan. – With Diversity and Inclusion as a pillar of its Strategic Plan, K-State Athletics and Wildcat student-athletes have announced that Saturday’s opener against Arkansas State will serve as the football program’s Unity game.

A key message in the department’s diversity action plan released earlier this summer was to raise awareness of social injustice by designating a home contest each season in every sport to serve in this capacity. The volleyball and soccer teams will hold their unity games on September 25 in both teams’ home openers.

Members of the football team will be a part of several pregame signs of unity, which include:

  • Wearing unity messaging on pregame warmup attire showing support for social justice with phrases including “Unity,” “It Takes All of Us,” “Black Lives Matter” and “Raise Your Voice.”
  • All Big 12 football teams will display decals on the back of each player’s helmet saying “Unity” underneath the conference logo for every game and K-State has added a patch on its jerseys for Saturday’s game to show that all Black Lives Matter.
  • Video messages from current student-athletes and coaches will be featured highlighting the personal impact of recent events on their lives in addition to a special playing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
  • Prior to the start of each game this season, K-State will join other Big 12 schools in holding a moment of self-reflection and unity to underscore the need to come together in this effort to eradicate racism and discrimination.
  • Additional presentations will feature K-State Athletics’ continuing Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and student-athlete led messaging.

“We are proud of our student-athletes for stepping up and letting their voices be heard,” Athletics Gene Taylor said. “Our department is committed to showing action being taken to eliminate social injustice, and we fully support our student-athletes’ methods of showcasing their unity and self-reflection.”

More information on the department’s Strategic Plan and mission and also its Diversity and Inclusion plan can be found in the links shown.