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Morgantown, West Virginia – Decals and stickers are superficial support of a cause.  Protests are sometimes effective, but ultimately holding up signs and chanting catchy slogans only do so much.

Neal Brown is the leader of the West Virginia football program, the most powerful, prominent position in the state other than the Governor.  His players are using their voices and platforms to speak out against racism, and unfortunately the people of the state are clearly – based on the recent response on social media – simply not ready for that.

Brown has supported his players time and time again, with the dismissal of former defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, his backing of defensive back Kerry Martin and his frequent appearances at protests and rallies.  He fully backs his players, but a large portion of his fanbase does not.  That’s a problem.

West Virginians want Mountaineer players to shut up and play, to not stir the pot, to deal with their current circumstances silently.  However, it is clear that that will not happen.

While West Virginia University has clearly shown support for the athletes, there hasn’t been a strong stance against the fanbase, who has collectively acted inappropriately and immaturely during a very sensitive time.

Neal Brown, as the leader of the program, should immediately release a statement and condemn the actions of a large portion of the West Virginia fanbase.  Fans threatening to stop supporting the team should be met with resolve and a decisive we don’t care if you leave mentality.

This would perhaps cost West Virginia some followers and some money in the short-term, but ultimately they can rest assured that they are standing up for what’s right, and frankly, those “fans” will return when the Mountaineers start winning big in the very near future.

Neal Brown, you’ve made all the right, safe decisions since arriving in Morgantown…now it’s time to make a difficult, largely unpopular choice.  Call out the fans and stand firmly in the corner of your players and for what’s right.

 

Cover Art courtesy of FotosByFrenchie

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