Memphis Tigers football players to wear Black Lives Matter sticker on helmets during 2020 season

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The Memphis Tigers football team will feature Black Lives Matter stickers on their helmets this season, coach Ryan Silverfield announced Tuesday.

The sticker will read “BLM” in a tribute to the movement with the “M” featuring the Tigers’ logo. Silverfield said the sticker will be present in every game.

“This season, for every game, our student-athletes’ helmets will have a BLM sticker. #ALLINagainstRACIALINJUSTICE,” Silverfield’s tweet read.

He told the Commercial Appeal that the idea came from the school’s student-athletes.

“The use of the BLM logo on a helmet decal was an idea from our student-athletes,” he told the newspaper. “It doesn't mean we support any anti-American, violent organization or hate group or any specific political party. In fact, I love this country and I love our players. Rather the decal is a show of support to our team.”

University of Memphis President Dr. M. David Rudd released a statement on the sticker after some backlash.

“These are difficult and divisive times in our country. It has never been more critical for us to come together, support one another, confront our challenges, recognize our shortcomings and move forward with common vision and shared values,” Rudd’s statement read. “Our Tiger football team recently decided they will wear a Black Lives Matter emblem on their helmet during the upcoming season. I want to make clear this does not represent endorsement of any political entity or affiliated group; it represents a commitment to social justice and American values we all embrace but have not fully realized as a country.

“As a Veteran who served during the Gulf War, I can speak personally to an unwavering dedication to our constitutional value with a passionate and steadfast commitment to liberty, equality and free speech. The exercise of free speech is essential to a representative republic. I support our athletic department, our head coach and our football team. I am proud of our young men for demonstrating leadership, encouraging civility, and for their genuine efforts to unite us so our University of Memphis family can become even stronger.”

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Should there be a  college football season, Memphis will start its season against Arkansas State at home.

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