Grambling Forfeits Football Game Amid Player Protests

Grambling State football team during a recent practice (ESPN screenshot)

Grambling State football players refused to travel to Jackson, Miss., to suit up in a game Saturday against Jackson State, after complaints about mold and mildew on equipment and in facilities fell on deaf ears, ESPN reports.

The cancellation, announced Friday by officials at the school in Grambling, La., was also the result of leadership challenges faced by the team; their coach, Doug Williams, was recently fired. Students highlighted their issues in a letter to administrators that was obtained by ESPN, in which they listed the names of assistants whom they thought would be good interim coaches.

The letter says "there are certain factors that are hindering us from reaching our goals" and then elaborates on many of them.

The athletic complex "is in horrible condition, and has many hazards that may contribute to our overall health," the letter says. "First, the complex is filled with mildew and mold. Mildew and mold can be seen on the ceiling, walls and floor, and are contributing to water leaks because of faltering walls and ceilings."

As has been reported before, the players say that the floor is coming up in the weight room, but the letter also asks that the university supply better detergent for uniforms. "The uniforms are poorly cleaned and contribute to the multiple cases (of) staph infection," the letter reads. "Several players have been infected with staph multiple times."


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