South Carolina coach Will Muschamp and Kentucky coach Mark Stoops joined their players in separate protests on Friday to push back against racial inequality. Muschamp, along with his wife and roughly 100 Gamecock players, marched to the Governor's mansion in Columbia, South Carolina, on the sixth straight day of demonstrations since the death of George Floyd, according to The State.
Stoops joined his team for a Friday afternoon protest in Lexington. "Everybody needs to get off the bench to make a difference and stand for something," Stoops told his players. "We're not going to tolerate any more racism ... we want to make a difference and be a part of the solution. That's why we're here." Stoops then encouraged all of his players to make sure they were registered to vote.
Both coaches, along with their players, were also wearing masks to help combat the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In South Carolina, several football players brought signs, including quarterback Jay Urich who wrote "Matter is the minimum. Black lives are worthy. Black lives are beloved. Black lives are needed."
Muschamp and his coaching staff, some of whom were among the protesters as well, have been a vocal supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of Floyd's murder in Minneapolis on May 25. Muschamp specifically has been sharing BLM statements on his Twitter account and participated in Blackout Tuesday to promote education and awareness of racial injustices as well as support for members of the black community.