Look: University of Minnesota Football Team Boycotts Games Over Players Suspended for Sexual Assault Allegations

University of Minnesota football team

Look: University of Minnesota Football Team Boycotts Games Over Players Suspended for Sexual Assault Allegations

Here are the details that paved the way for their stance.

Published December 16, 2016

The entire University of Minnesota football squad announced Thursday that it's boycotting the season until the school's suspension of 10 players over sexual assault allegations is lifted.

In a show of solidarity, the 10 suspended players stood behind the team's seniors — Drew WolitarskyMitch Leidner and Duke Anyanwu — as they read some of their demands to resume play.

“The boycott will remain in effect until due process is followed and the suspensions for all 10 players involved are lifted,” Wolitarsky said, as reported by the Minnesota Star Tribune.

He added, “we are concerned that our brothers have been named publicly with reckless disregard without consideration of their constitution rights.”

The alleged sexual assault allegations stem from a September incident following the team's first game of the season. Police reports obtained by the Star Tribune said a female student claimed she was the victim of a sexual assault, although she said “she doesn’t have a recall about how the sex acts started.” 

“I was removing myself from my mind and my body to help myself from the pain and experience going on,” the female student testified, adding that when one player finished having sex with her another would join, continuing the alleged assault. “They kept ignoring my pleas for help. Anything I said they laughed. They tried to cheer people on.”

That being said, the newspaper additionally reported that a criminal investigation resulted in no arrests or charges being filed.

Wolitarsky's and the team's stance is that they want the players reinstated, feeling like they were suspended “for things they didn’t do.”

Wolitarsky additionally stated that the team demands that the school's president, Eric Kaler, and athletic director, Mark Coyle, be "held accountable" for their actions.

He continued saying that the squad is "all in this together" and not scared of losing their scholarships. They're also willing to forgo their Holiday Bowl game against Washington State in San Diego on December 27 and the practices leading up to it, if no action is taken.

To watch some of their demands, click on the footage below.

The Gophers also have the support of their coach, Tracy Claeys.

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via AP)

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