Memphis Football to Wear Black Lives Matter Sticker on Helmet This Season

Blake SchusterAnalyst IJune 30, 2020

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 28: Rodrigues Clark #25 of the Memphis Tigers during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Arlington, Texas (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

The University of Memphis football team will continue to support those protesting against systemic racism and police brutality across the country by wearing a "Black Lives Matter" decal on its helmet this season.

Tigers head coach Ryan Silverfield announced the decision in a tweet that showed the placement of the stickers on the back of players' helmets. 

Silverfield said students will wear the decals for every game, adding the hashtag #ALLINagainstRACIALINJUSTICE. 

College football programs—and players in particular—have found a strong footing in the fight against systemic racism. 

One of the most prominent voices in getting the state of Mississippi to remove Confederate imagery from its flag was Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill, who threatened to transfer from the program if the flag wasn't changed. 

That followed an announcement from the Southeastern Conference in which the league said it would consider precluding championship events from taking place in the state unless the flag was changed. 

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill Tuesday to retire the current flag after the state's House of Representatives and Senate quickly voted it through each chamber.

Elsewhere in college sports, student-athletes at Texas and Kansas State have threatened to boycott numerous team events if their schools did not take appropriate steps to address systemic racism on campus. 

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The uprisings on campuses across the country show a changing power dynamic in the college sports landscape in which players are taking matters of civil justice mainstream by leveraging their platforms. 

In Memphis, the football team is apparently trying to make sure those conversations continue throughout the upcoming season and using the Black Lives Matter decals as a catalyst to help ensure the topic of systemic racism remains on the forefront after play resumes. 

The season will be the first for Silverfield as head coach after taking over for Mike Norvell in December following his predecessor's move to Florida State.