NORMAL, Ill. — Illinois State University’s football team is down one coach after a situation that athletic officials at the school aren’t yet sharing details about.
Kurt Beathard abruptly left his post as offensive coordinator Wednesday, The Pantagraph reported.
Beathard told the newspaper he is no longer a part of the program after he put a sign on his office door that read “All Lives Matter to Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.”
School officials and Beathard have not commented whether the former coach was relieved of his duties or if he left of his own accord.
According to The Pantagraph, people connected to the football program said that at some point, a Black Lives Matter poster was hung somewhere in the football locker room and was later taken down by an unknown person.
Beathard said he didn’t remove any posters from the room.
“I took the sign down somebody put on my door,” he told the newspaper. “That’s it. I didn’t take anything off that wasn’t put on my door. I wrote the message.”
According to The Pantagraph, racial tensions escalated among the school’s athletes and staff earlier this year when director of athletics Larry Lyons used the phrase “All Redbird Lives Matter," a nod to the school’s mascot.
Some athletes boycotted team meetings, workouts and practices until an “Athletics March for Black Voices” was held on Sept. 4. The student-athletes also pushed for a plan to increase diversity among the athletic staff.
Read more at The Pantagraph.
© 2020 Cox Media Group