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Some college athletes are joining the protest against police shootings of unarmed Black men that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started. They are also facing racist backlash.

On Saturday, University of Nebraska Cornhuskers linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey knelt during the National Anthem and later received racially hateful messages on social media, ESPN reports. The school is located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Teammates Mohamed Barry and DaiShon Neal also knelt in protest with Rose-Ivey. At a press conference on Monday, Rose-Ivey said he was called the N-word and threatened on social media.

“Some believe DaiShon, Mohamed and myself should be kicked off the team or suspended, while some said we deserved to be lynched or shot like the other Black people who have died recently,” Rose-Ivey said. “Another believed that since we didn’t want to stand for the anthem that we should be hung before the anthem at the next game.”

The football players said their coach supported their decision to kneel, and they informed the team of their decision ahead of the National Anthem. What’s more, the three athletes said they understood that they could face a backlash.

“We, as Black athletes, cannot remain silent,” Rose-Ivey wrote on Twitter. “… These issues are bigger than football. These issues are bigger than me.”

He added that many more fans sent him positive feedback on social media.



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