2 Athletes Announce Transfers From Liberty University, Citing the 'Racial Insensitivity' of the School's Leadership

Illustration for article titled 2 Athletes Announce Transfers From Liberty University, Citing the 'Racial Insensitivity' of the School's Leadership
Photo: Steve Helber (AP Images)

Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. just lost two players from the school’s football team because Falwell is a tone-deaf idiot who didn’t realize that tweeting his face mask design—which included an image of a white man in blackface next to a person in a Ku Klux Klan robe—might be off putting to his black students.


Last month The Root reported that Falwell mocked Gov. Ralph Northam’s order requiring Virginia citizens to wear face masks by tweeting an image of a mask with a college photo of Northam in blackface next to someone in Klan attire plastered on it. Nearly a month later, that tweet is still biting Falwell in the ass.

According to Sports Illustrated, cornerbacks Kei’Trel Clark and Tayvion Land announced via Twitter on Monday that they have decided to transfer away from Liberty U due to the “racial insensitivity” of the college’s leadership.

“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,” Land—who ranks No. 1 on Liberty’s all-time recruits list, according to Sports Illustrated—tweeted. “I pray that I am able to be provided with a opportunity at a new school that respects my culture and provides a comfortable environment.”

Ten minutes later, Clark tweeted a statement that said pretty much the same thing.

“Over this year, I have developed relationships that I will forever cherish and bonds that will not be broken,” Clark wrote. “However due to the cultural [incompetence] within multiple levels of leadership, it does not line up with my code of ethics. So therefore I had to do what I felt like was right in my heart, and I pray that you support me and pray for me as I find a new home to further my education and football career.”


Neither of them mentioned Falwell by name in their tweets, but the face mask incident is what kicked off the trend of black athletes and staff looking at Liberty U like, “ight, Ima head out.”


Shortly after Falwell’s ill-advised tweet, Liberty women’s basketball player Asia Todd announced she would be transferring from the school. Her reason, as you may have guessed, was also due to “racial insensitivities shown within the leadership and culture.”

Black Liberty University Online instructor and pastor Christopher House resigned after seeing the tweet. In a Facebook post, House cited Falwell and the infamous tweet directly. In fact, according to CNN, 35 black pastors and former Liberty University student-athletes called Falwell out on the tweet (among other things) in a letter asking him to “stop this infantile behavior.”


Falwell eventually deleted the tweet and apologized for it.

“After listening to African-American L.U. leaders and alumni over the past week and hearing their concerns, I understand that by tweeting an image to remind all of the governor’s racist past,” Falwell tweeted this month. “I actually refreshed the trauma that image had caused and offended some by using the image to make a political point.”


Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons


Not gonna lie. The most surprising part of this story to me is that Liberty has sports.