The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Players at University of Texas Protest Racism

Mar 15, 2021

Among those who protested against the murder of George Floyd last year were college football players at the University of Texas. In addition, the players raised several issues of racism at the university, including the school song “The Eyes of Texas.”

It was a tradition after every football game for the Texas fans and players to stand while the song was played. Texas football players and some members of the school band asked that “The Eyes of Texas” not be played anymore because the song had origins in minstrel shows at the university with performers in blackface. And it is also believed that some of the lyrics in the song come from a quote about slavery by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

But the university refused to stop playing the song. So after one game, almost every single Texas football player, black and white, left the field when the song was played.

After the protest, the black Texas players faced the reaction of some racists. Some black players even got anonymous death threats.

But perhaps even more outrageous were the signed emails sent to the Texas athletic department by some wealthy white boosters who contribute to the university. They said, among other things, that black players would never be able to get a job in the state, that black players should leave the university and that the opinion of black students didn’t matter because they are only a small minority at the university.

It is disgusting that people who are so-called fans of a sports team can cheer and brag about the success of “their” teams—teams that often have a majority of black players. And, at the same time, these “fans” are racist toward these very same players they cheer for.

These wealthy white boosters were so brazen in their racism that they didn’t think twice about putting their names on these emails.

It is a sign of how deep-rooted racism is in this country.