Tayvion Land and Kei’Trel Clark, two Black cornerbacks at Liberty University in Virginia, announced they were transferring out of the program because of “racial insensitivity displayed by leadership” and “cultural incompetence.”
Both players made their announcements Monday on social media. They showed appreciation for the athletic department and the football program in particular, but both made references to Liberty’s “leadership.”
“Unfortunately, due to the racial insensitivity displayed by leadership at Liberty University, I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal,” Land wrote. “I pray that I am able to be provided with a opportunity at a new school that respects my culture and provides a comfortable environment.”
Clark called his decision bigger than football.
“Over this year I have developed relationships that I will forever cherish and bonds that will not be broken,” Clark wrote. “However due to the cultural incompetent (sp.) within multiple levels of leadership, it does not line up with my code of ethics.”
Earlier this month, Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. apologized for tweeting an image originally attributed to an old yearbook of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, which purported to show Northam wearing blackface while a medical student. It is possible the players were referring to Falwell.
“After listening to African American LU leaders and alumni over the past week and hearing their concerns, I understand that by tweeting an image to remind all of the governor’s racist past I actually refreshed the trauma that image had caused and offended some by using the image to make a political point,” Falwell wrote on Twitter.
Liberty also lost a women’s basketball player, Asia Todd, this month to transfer. Todd cited “racial insensitivities shown within the leadership and culture,” just days after Falwell’s “Governor Blackface” tweet.
Liberty, founded by Falwell’s father Jerry Falwell Sr. in 1971, is one of the largest evangelical Christian universities in the world.