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Kansas State players to boycott football activities after student's George Floyd tweet

June 29 (UPI) -- Kansas State football players plan to boycott team activities until the school creates a policy to expel students for "openly racist, threatening or disrespectful actions" after a George Floyd tweet prompted outrage.

Wildcats quarterback Skylar Thompson and defensive back Jonathan Alexander were among the more than a dozen players to post a statement about their decision to skip practices, games and meetings until the issue is resolved.

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The response came after Kansas State student Jaden McNeil tweeted Thursday: "Congratulations to George Floyd on being drug free for an entire month!"

The tweet has since been deleted. Twitter also put a brief lock on McNeil's account, which has more than 30,000 followers.

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"Due to the recent disparaging, insensitive and unsettling comments made by a fellow student, we as a football team, after consultation with students from campus organizations as well as students from the general student body, feel it is best for us to stand with the students," the players' statement said.

"We are demanding that Kansas State University put a policy in place that allows a student to be dismissed for displaying openly racist, threatening or disrespectful actions toward a student or groups of students.

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"We have resolved that we cannot play, practice or meet until these demands are heard and actions taken. We love Kansas State but we must stand together and protect all students moving forward."

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Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed while handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer on May 25 in Minneapolis. His death has sparked protests throughout the United States and in Europe.

Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor and football coach Chris Klieman have condemned the tweet on social media. Kansas State president Richard Myers said Friday the school has launched "an immediate review of the university's options."

"The insensitive comments posted by one K-State student hurts our entire community," Myers said. "These divisive statements do not represent for the values of our university. We condemn racism and bigotry in all its forms.

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"We are launching an immediate review of the university's options. Black Lives Matter at Kansas State University and we will continue to fight for social justice."

The Wildcats football team resumed voluntary workouts on June 15 but suspended the workouts five days later after 14 student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19. The football team is expected to resume summer workouts on July 13 in Manhattan, Kan.

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"Racism is not welcome at Kansas State now or in the future," Klieman said. "On and off the field, as a family, we will make a difference through our action. I am excited to help every player unite for the solution now, so that that we can come together stronger than ever. Black Lives Matter."

The Wildcats are scheduled to face Buffalo in their first game of the 2020 season Sept. 5 in Manhattan.

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