South Carolina football team joins protests in Columbia

South Carolina football team joins protests in Columbia
South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp and his players participated in Friday's protest in Columbia. (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (TheBigSpur.com) - South Carolina football players, led by head coach Will Muschamp and his wife, Carol, were seen marching as peaceful protesters through The Vista in downtown Columbia on Friday afternoon.

One player was seen holding a sign reading “‘Matter’ is the minimum. Black lives are worthy. Black lives are beloved. Black lives are needed.”

Back on campus for the first time since early March, players have been tested for coronavirus and virus antibodies this week to prepare for the start of voluntary workouts on June 8.

In Columbia, Friday makes the sixth straight day of protesting since Minneapolis’ George Floyd was killed by a police officer. His death has sparked a movement across the nation, notably in the world of sports, both in the professional and college ranks. The Gamecocks are one of multiple college football teams that have joined in showing peaceful displays of protesting.

This is the first in-person display of protests from the South Carolina football team. Members of the team, including players, Muschamp, and various assistant coaches have been active on social media over the last two weeks.

Notably, sophomore quarterback Ryan Hilinski took to Twitter and Instagram on May 30 to share his thoughts, accompanied by a picture of a poster board reading, "Shift Your Hearts."

"The injustice in our world right now is clear," Hilinski wrote. "The hate can no longer be overlooked... I can’t stand by and watch my brothers and sisters go through the unthinkable. A shift in people’s hearts and minds must occur in the world. Whatever that shift may be, needs to happen now!"

"Going to speak for those that are silenced. Words are a start, action is the finish. I can’t imagine standing in the shoes of my fellow brothers and sisters that go through this injustice. I will do whatever I can, to help build a brighter future. One love, together."

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