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Utah Football QB Jake Bentley Shares Thoughts On Racial Injustice, Players Kneeling

Quarterback Jake Bentley runs a drill as the University of Utah football team opens spring camp at the Eccles Football Facility practice fields in Salt Lake City on Monday, March 2, 2020. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah quarterback Jake Bentley shared his thoughts on the recent events surrounding racial injustice and players kneeling at football games.

Bentley posted “just a few thoughts” in a tweet published on Thursday, June 4.

“I once had the opportunity to speak with Tim Tebow and I asked him what he told his team when down in the 4th quarter. ‘Why not us? Why can’t we be the guys that shock the world?’ was his response. Over the past couple days I’ve thought about this a lot. Not in terms of football but about life.” Bentley began his post. “Why can’t we be the generation that puts an end to racism? Why can’t we shock the world and kneel with a fellow black teammate? Your views on the kneeling might be completely different than theirs. But that’s not the point, the point is that you recognize the pain and suffering that the black community is in and have been for generations because of racial inequality. While you might not have experienced the same pain, you recognize the need for change in America.”

“I’ve realized that I need to do more. I’ve realized that just being there for my black teammates and friends isn’t enough,” Bentley continued. “We must fight with them in life just like on the field. Defeating the enemy of racism and prejudice.”

Jake Bentley’s College Career

Bentley joined the Utes after transferring from South Carolina in December 2019.

He entered each of the last two full seasons as the Gamecocks’ starting quarterback. Bentley suffered a season-ending injury during the first game of the 2019 season.

Bentley recorded 6,680 passing yards, 50 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions during his time at the SEC school.

The senior QB is eligible to immediately play for the Utes in 2020.

Utah Football on Racial Injustice

University of Utah coaches and former players have expressed their feelings about racial injustice amid the nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Utes running back TJ Green walked alongside Chandler Police Department officers during a protest in his hometown.

Utah football defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley tweeted his thoughts on the recent events.

“What happened on Memorial Day in Minnesota won’t leave my mind,” Scalley wrote. “The video sickened me. The senseless, cruel killing of George Floyd is inexcusable and indefensible. Many of my dearest friends and brothers are men of color, and I can’t imagine my life without their love or influence. I think of the young men of color I have coached, and continue to coach, and am heartbroken that any of them would have to live with the very fear that racism presents. Our nation has to be better. I’m grateful for a Utah Football Family that embraces the strength that diversity provides, and the powerful love it evokes!”

Former Utah offensive lineman Isaac Asiata recalled his time in college with his teammates.

“Football was such a big blessing in my life,” Asiata wrote. “It blessed me with exposure to different races, cultures and backgrounds. You learn about people. You accept them for who they are as a person. And form a bond as equals striving TOGETHER. United. Together. Eternal. Soldiers.”

Former Utah and current Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson expressed his feelings on social media.

“As a black man, a father, and a leader, this is my message,” Johnson wrote. “These current and recent events shouldn’t bring the Black and minority community together due to the fact that it has been like this. We need to stay together and grow together. We have to treat each other with love and mercy as we want others to do to us. We have to educate our generation and the ones that are coming after us that there is no divider and all men and women are created equal. I wouldn’t know what I would do if my daughter was treated as if she was beneath anybody on this earth.”

“Everyone on this earth has value and needs to be treated as such,” Johnson continued. “For all of the black community, we have to be that change that demonstrates how much we should be valued. That starts with education in school and in the real world. We should be equipped about our rights in our country, how to handle authority, how to be business men/women, how to be leaders and push other people to be great. We have to change our community first before we can expect other communities to change. As a leader I challenge the black community to these simple steps. Love others. Educate others.”

Former Utah and current Indianapolis Colts safety Julian Blackmon shared his feelings as well.

“Understand that nobody hates all white people,” Blackmon wrote. “Nobody is saying you’re all racist. Step out of your box and look at the world in our eyes. It’s a systematic issue. We were sworn rights that are constantly violated. So understand us. Before you respond with emotion.”

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