Marks says college athletes may struggle to speak out on issues

As members of the College Republicans raised a Trump Wall on the Glenn Terrell Friendship Mall on Wednesday, WSU football wide receiver Gabe Marks stood in the middle of the counter protest, phone in hand, recording everything going on around him. He tweeted the video that day with a caption saying, “The American divide in 30 seconds.”

During the football news conference on Monday, Marks shared his thoughts on college football players taking a stance on social issues.

“College football players are more of a number than NFL players are,” he said. “The NCAA and schools can monitor everything that college athletes do, and their Twitter and stuff like that. It would be kind of scary if you’re a college athlete and you try and take a stand and your athletic director or … your coach comes and says, ‘Hey, what are you doing? … That’s super un-American.’”

He cited San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem at games and the backlash he received for this.

“The fact that people are mad at him for protesting is … probably the most anti-American thing,” Marks said.

He said college players who would take a stand on something probably are probably scared of the consequences.

Head Coach Mike Leach said he has no problem with his players taking a stand on any side of an issue, as long as they don’t miss practice or class. He said he believes his players have the right to be a citizen and participate in what they want.

Reporting by Jamie Jones