Multiple former Iowa football players have alleged “racial disparities” during their tenure at Iowa.
James Daniels, a former offensive lineman for the Hawkeyes, was the first athlete to speak with tweets on Friday night.
"There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program," Daniels tweeted on Friday. "Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long."
There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program. Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long.— James Daniels (@jamsdans) June 6, 2020
This tweet by Daniels sparked many former players to respond to his tweet, with tweets of their own.
Former Iowa defensive back Terrance Pryor, tweeted about a negative interaction he said he had with strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle.
Time for the truth: pic.twitter.com/aBeVbtfvc4— Terrance Pryor (@Tpryor51) June 6, 2020
Another former player that tweeted out that he had a negative interaction with Doyle, was former defensive back Emmanuel Rogumba, who now plays for Miami of Ohio.
Iowa alum and current Tennessee Titans safety Amani Hooker tweeted, "I remember whenever walking into the facility, it would be difficult for black players to walk around the facility and be themselves," Hooker tweeted. "As if the way you grew up was the wrong way or wasn’t acceptable & that you would be judge by that and it would impact playing time."
I remember whenever walking into the facility it would be difficult for black players to walk around the facility and be themselves. As if the way you grew up was the wrong way or wasn’t acceptable & that you would be judge by that and it would impact playing time.— Amani Hooker (@amanihooker37) June 6, 2020
Hooker responded to that tweet by tweeting, "For a lot of guys it was just constant anxiety and pressure to be someone they really aren’t to play a game they love, which affected school and their play."
These are a few of the many responses former players gave on Twitter on Friday night.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and the program as a whole tweeted out a response to this thread.
“As a staff and as leaders, we will listen and take to heart the messages we hear.” pic.twitter.com/wqg2ZoX8pk— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) June 6, 2020
Former Iowa and current Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde posted a thread of tweets on Saturday morning in response to the other tweets.
The last 3 times I cried were all family related. The birth of my first child, finding out my step-dad had cancer, and when I heard Reece Morgan retired from @HawkeyeFootball. Tonight I cried for family yet again, as brothers from the Iowa Football program poured their stories...— Julian Vandervelde (@BatMandervelde) June 6, 2020
Vandervelde said he loved the Iowa football program and that no community is safe from racial biases and community, but that Iowa football program was the closest he'd ever come such a place, and is glad that the truth is out there.
"I hope when all is said and done the changes have been made so that can be a place that every little brother who comes through feels the same pride and love for the program that I do," Vandervelde tweeted. "That no one is ever made to feel lesser because of their background or skin tone. And this time I want to be part of the solution."
Former Iowa player and current Minnesota Viking, Jaleel Johnson tweeted his love for the Iowa football program but said that there is an underlying issue.
I loved being at Iowa. My experience there was one of a kind. The people I met, the friends & relationships I’ve gained, the swarm, rose bowl, waking up and walking in -5 degree weather at 5am to go to workouts, Etc. If I could I’d do over a million times.— Jaleel Johnson (@leellxvii) June 6, 2020
Jordan Lomax, another former Iowa football player, tweeted in support of his fellow Hawkeyes, who were speaking out against racial discrimination within the program.
"I have much respect for KF and other coaches on the staff as men of great integrity, principles and morals and I am confident they have the ability to be a part of the solution," Lomax tweeted. "As my brother already mentioned @Faith_Joseph (Faith Ekakitie), 'the change starts in the weight room.'"
I stand with my fellow Hawkeye Brothers advocating for a cultural shift in the Iowa Football Program. We were disproportionately represented as a result of black players leaving prematurely due to either double standards or the inability of the coaching staff to relate with our— Jordan Lomax (@jordanlomax27) June 6, 2020
Former Iowa outside linebacker Kevin Ward, tweeted about how he believes Ferentz has "proactive about this since long before the recent events that have begun to relight the fire of racial injustice in our country" and that he believes that Ferentz "truly cares about all of his players and wants all of them to be successful in life, school and football."
It’s been hard seeing some of my former Hawkeye brothers open up about some of their negative experiences during the program. Just know they are being heard. Go Hawks https://t.co/zEyX5VHtpf pic.twitter.com/gP816Hp6yw— Kevin Ward (@kwardy26) June 6, 2020