Rape activist Brenda Tracy has said that Baylor should cancel the rest of its football season after suggestions the team wore all black in its game Saturday against TCU to protest the firing of former head coach Art Briles, according to Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com.
Tracy, who said she was raped by four men—including two Oregon State football players—called the “blackout” by players, coaches and some of the team’s fans a “display of deliberate and calculated cruelty” and added it was “callous, cruel and vicious.”
Baylor denied the “blackout” was a sign of solidarity with Briles.
“The seniors met with Coach Grobe and asked him if they could wear black since it was a rivalry game,” Baylor spokesman Nick Joos said Sunday, per Schlabach. “They are not making any type of statement.”
University spokesperson Lori Fogleman elaborated: “According to seniors who met with Coach Jim Grobe, the team’s decision to wear black uniforms for [Saturday’s] game was made months ago in anticipation of the game against TCU, Baylor’s 111-year rival. The black uniform is a team favorite and is reserved for one home game each year against a noted rival.”
The controversy began Friday when wide receiver Chris Platt sent out a tweet that appeared to imply the team was indeed wearing the uniforms as some sort of statement:
This black out means more than just the uniforms to us. #truthdontlie
— chris platt (@chrisplatt14) November 4, 2016
Later that night, the Baylor assistant coaches tweeted their support for Briles after Baylor’s Board of Regents told the Dallas Morning News‘ Ben Baby that Briles was made aware of at least one of the allegations of gang rape involving his players.
Brett McMurphy of ESPN then picked up on Platt’s tweet the next day:
Baylor wearing all-black uniforms vs. TCU to protest Art Briles’ firing https://t.co/HuveqGxjP3
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 5, 2016
In response, Platt took to Twitter to clarify what he meant by his original post:
The Truth pic.twitter.com/je3qmueev1
— chris platt (@chrisplatt14) November 5, 2016
But Tracy didn’t buy Baylor’s story:
It was all over social media. Please don’t try to say that you didn’t know. Every single assistant coach that tweeted the night before in support of Art Briles knew what those black uniforms meant. … The entire thing was INTENTIONAL.
It was a deliberate slap in the face to the women who were assaulted and raped on Baylor’s campus and for what? Art Briles? The man who said he knew of a gang rape and did nothing? Or the man who threw all of his assistant coaches under the bus by saying that he delegated down and didn’t know what was happening on his team?
She also added: “What I want is for Baylor to act like they have some institutional control and stop allowing the football program to re-victimize the already traumatized survivors.”
Tracy was invited by current head coach Jim Grobe to speak to Baylor’s football program about sexual assault prevention in June. And Baylor interim president David E. Garland acknowledged that the school’s investigation into sexual assault and domestic violence on campus identified 17 victims involving 19 football players dating back to 2011.