Eastern Michigan's 27-24 victory against Wyoming on Friday night moved the Eagles to 3-1 for the first time in more than two decades, but that was overshadowed by an EMU student protest that began during the game and continued on the field after the contest.
The group of students was protesting the use of racist graffiti that was spray painted on a campus building and discovered Tuesday. The graffiti spelled out "KKK" in red, white and blue as well a phrase utilizing the N-word.
Though the graffiti was quickly removed, another racial slur was later written on the stairwell of a residence hall. A statement from the university said it was investigating the incidents to its "fullest abilities," but students do not believe the school administration's response was nearly strong enough.
To #EMU Students, Faculty, Staff and Community: #TRUEMUpic.twitter.com/ZcN4trFTLj— Eastern Michigan (@EMU_Swoop) September 20, 2016
The protest group was seen near the field during the second half of the game on CBS Sports Network. Speaking with CBS Sports Network on Friday evening, EMU president James Smith said the protest group wished to enter the track surrounding the football field but was not permitted due to security issues.
The group walked onto the field immediately after the game while players from both teams exited. Many protesters chanted or raised their fists. The group then made its way to the stands, where they continued to chant to raise awareness of the racist remarks found on campus.
There were no fights or incidents during the demonstration. Before the game, many EMU players walked arm-in-arm on the field to show their demonstration. A Wyoming player briefly joined the protest after the game before rejoining his team and heading to the locker room.
The graffiti and ensuing protest come after a tension-filled week in which 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, a black man, was shot by a Tulsa police officer after his car broke down. Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old black man, was shot on Tuesday in Charlotte by police officers who believed he was armed.