A student-produced Black Lives Matter video brought community anger and campus confusion to Morehead State University.
MSU Athletics posted a student-made video about racial equality around August 7, 2020, that was shortly taken down. A rumor quickly spread that it was taken down because donors threatened to pull their funding. However, according to MSU President Dr. Jay Morgan, it was taken down for copyright and policy issues.
But, one Rowan County native claimed the video was nothing more than an attack on the right.
“The 'Be The Change' video that was released on Morehead State University Athletics' social media was nothing more than a blatant attack on President Trump and the law enforcement community,” said Joe Clark.
“Instead of wasting time, energy, and money on spreading liberal propaganda; perhaps Morehead State University should focus on making sure their students receive a good education,” he said in a statement to The Trail Blazer. “That purpose seems to have been lost in recent years.”
Tia Williams, a senior soccer player in charge of the video, said she was sparked into action after the killing of George Floyd occurred.
According to Williams, the video was meant to bring people to their side and incite change in the community.
The video included videos of students saying “I am the change” alongside clips from the news and the documentary, 13th.
Jacob Wilde, a senior MSU football player, who wasn’t involved in the project, said he could see both sides of the issue.
“The idea that people took anything they could to try to hide what we were trying to do is kind of frustrating,” said Wilde. “At the same time, as students we got to understand that when you are trying to make change to a whole group of people you can’t really attack the leader and expect them not to get upset.”
Jamie Gordon, MSU’s athletic director, said the project was produced by student athletes and that he supported it, but also said it may have been the wrong forum.
“As a state institution, it’s not our place to provide a platform for First Amendment rights and that’s nothing based on the message,” said Gordon. “It was not the appropriate platform to distribute a student piece.”
Morgan said he asked athletics to take a pause on posting for a few days, but Gordon said the department was never under a “shadowban.”
Overall, Williams said she felt this was a learning experience for all.
“It’s important that everyone in this situation, regardless of what side you’re on, that you remain teachable and open to other perspectives because everyone has something to learn,” said Williams. “That’s where change starts.”