Texas Longhorns football players ask for removal of 'Eyes of Texas' as school song
Multiple members of the Texas Longhorns football team issued a series of requests in an effort to bring attention to the University of Texas at Austin's racist past.
On June 12, at least a dozen members of the football team, including Brennan Eagles and Josh Thompson, tweeted the list of demands along with the UT's motto, "What starts here changes the world" and the hashtag #WeAreOne.
"As ambassadors, it is our duty to utilize our voice and role as leaders in the community to push for change to the benefit of the entire UT community," reads the statement. "The recent events across the country regarding racial injustice have brought to light the systematic racism that has always been prevalent in our country as well as the racism that has historically plagued our campus."
The football team said that while they will continue to practice, workout, and prep for the upcoming season, they will not participate in donor- or recruitment-related activities until the changes are made. As of press time, the tweets were already being retweeted by UT student athletes in other sports and picking up national traction with outlets like ESPN.
- Changing the names of Robert Lee Moore Hall, Painter Hall, Littlefield Hall, James Hogg Auditorium
- Replacement of problematic statues with works by artists of color
- Freshman education on the history of racism at UT
- An outreach program for inner-city youth in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio
- A more diverse hall of fame, including a permanent exhibit about Black UT athletes
- Replacing the "Eyes of Texas," which can trace its origins back to Robert E. Lee, as the school's song
- UT Athletics donating .5 percent of its multimillion-dollar earnings to Black organizations and Black Lives Matter
The Texas athletic program brought in $223.9 million last year, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
On Monday, June 15, interim president Jay Hartzell responded to the students' demands with a letter saying that he is taking the next few weeks to have conversations with students and community members. "Working together," he wrote, "we will create a plan this summer to address these issues, do better for our students and help overcome racism."