Following an inflammatory tweet from a Kansas State student earlier this year, one which offended many players on the university's football team, offensive line coach Conor Riley penned a letter, posted to his personal Twitter account, which stated he no longer would sit idly by.
He no longer would remain silent.
“I recognize more and more how privileged I am based on the color of my skin,” he wrote May 31. “I will not stand down, I will not just stick to football, I will not be indifferent. I will strive to do better and make a more lasting impact on someone else’s life and not for ulterior motives.
“Because of my privilege I will do this and I certainly hope everyone else who is now speaking up will do the same, especially when it isn’t as popular. I regret it has taken another string of tragedies for me to speak up, but no more.”
K-State football players had the day off Tuesday, as the NCAA passed a rule prohibiting any practices or competitions to be held Nov. 3. The NCAA wanted all Division I student-athletes to have an opportunity to vote without needing to work around their responsibilities in their respective sports.
Riley shared his thoughts on this topic, as well as his stance on the right to vote, during a meeting with reporters Tuesday.
His comments, in full, are below.
"It's something that we do talk about quite often. I (tell) our guys all the time, 'This is not just going to be just about football.' In order to build great relationships, oftentimes you need to talk about some of those other social issues. So we did have a conversation as a position group. Unfortunately during this time, it was via Zoom, which is not an ideal situation.
"I think it opened up a lot of eyes to some of the young people within our group, who may not know what other players are going through with some of these issues. It certainly opened up my eyes. It certainly brought a lot of awareness to social issues that a lot of young people within our football program, and a lot of people throughout the entire country, are exposed to that I am not.
"So it's been a great educational process. (Monday) in meetings, I told the guys, 'Regardless of whom you vote for, or where you stand on what side of the aisle, I think it's most important that everyone gets out there and does their civic duty to go out there and vote.' This is a privilege that our democracy provides us. I don't take it lightly — and quite honestly, I don't think that our football players should, either, especially in light of some of the current issues going on in this country."