Three star athletes from the large US evangelical college, Liberty University, have declared their intention to leave over issues of 'racial insensitivity' displayed by senior leadership.
Tayvion Land, Kei’Trel Clark and Asia Todd have all stated that they will be transferring after Liberty's president Jerry Falwell Jr was forced to apologise for posting a racially inappropriate tweet last month.
Land, who is the highest-rated recruit in Liberty’s history, said in a statement:
“My short time spent with the athletic department and most professors at Liberty University was much appreciated as it helped me improve my skills, gain new experiences and meet a diverse group of friends. Unfortunately, due to the racial insensitivity displayed by leadership at Liberty University, I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal and no longer be a student-athlete at Liberty University. I pray that I am able to be provided with an opportunity at a new school that respects my culture and provides a comfortable environment. Bless it! #BLM”
Getting into a spat with Virginia governor Ralph Northam over a statewide mandate for the wearing of facemasks, Falwell recently took to Twitter to joke that he had designed his own facemask emblazoned with an infamous picture of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam wearing blackface. Many criticised Falwell for being petty and insensitive at a time when the nation is hurting in the wake of George Floyd's death.
In response to that incident and many others where Falwell has spoken poorly online, a group of 35 black alumni from Liberty University issued a letter to President Jerry Falwell Jr criticising him for the "inappropriate statements" he has made over recent years.
The letter stated that Falwell's words “hurt the ability of Liberty alumni to obtain jobs and have a voice in the culture".
The group added: “For several years, you have said and defended inappropriate statements that represent Liberty and our faith very poorly. You have belittled staff, students and parents, you have defended inappropriate behaviours of politicians, encouraged violence, and disrespected people of other faiths.”