On Feb. 8 on the campus of the University of Nebraska Lincoln, a Google Hangouts video surfaced of student David Kleve claiming to be “the most active white nationalist in the Nebraska area,” which has caused a great deal of issues. The chancellor of UNL decided not to expel Kleve, stating that even though the comments that were made were hateful, it's his First Amendment right to free speech.
Despite all the hate and controversy this has caused, the Husker basketball team is taking a stand against this hateful speech by sending positive messages across campus instead. Members of the men’s basketball team started sending out tweets with their undivided message, “hate will never win.” That Wednesday, a group called UNL Against Hate organized a rally, drawing a large number of students. Tim Miles, head coach of the men's basketball team, is in full support of his team and the work they're doing on and off the court. “They're taking a strong stand in putting a positive message out against hate, racism and prejudice,” comments Miles. “This is not a one time thing. This is something that we want to continue and I'm proud of the guys for that.”
Students at the school are not happy with the Chancellor’s decision but instead of focusing on the negative side of things, it’s important to remember that our voices can be used for good. “When someone is in a position of power I think that they have the responsibility to use that power for the greatest good possible,” comments Aaron Purkeypile, professor/men’s basketball coach. “We need to be comfortable in walking into uncomfortable situations and having these types of conversations.”
What the team is starting isn’t something that is easy but it’s definitely worth it and deserves a lot of attention on and off campus. “Not everyone has a platform to be able to express their opinions,” comments senior elementary education major, Brandyn Reeves. “It’s good that the team is using their abilities to able to share their positive message.”
The Huskers wore t-shirts with their slogan of “hate will never win” during the next game against Rutgers on Feb 10, as well as making a video with other UNL students to show during timeouts. Statements from other team and school officials have also made public statements discussing their views and opinions on the subject matter, fully supporting the team.
Caroline Guchu is a junior studying communications.