The Texas Longhorns’ jerseys look a little different when they take to the field for a game against the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) tonight. If you’ve noticed that their uniforms have black patches on them, it’s part of a statement of unity.
Here’s what you need to know.
The New Patch Represents a Message of Unity
Texas football players are promoting a unified message by wearing a new patch on their jerseys. The black patch reads “We Are One” in white letters. The announcement was shared just a few hours before the game by the official Texas Football Twitter account.
On Twitter, responses were positive. One person wrote, “Love it!” Another wrote, “I am so proud! #HookEm.” Another tweeted, “Proud Texan.”
Paul Livengood of KCEN News tweeted that Coach Tom Herman said the patch is a unified message. Livengood wrote: “Earlier this week, my coworker @EmilyGiangreco asked @CoachTomHerman about racial injustice messages and he shared that the team decided to use one ‘unified message’ sewn into patches on the team jerseys, but would not share the message at the time. Now we know.”
Herman said the patch was a statement against racism, KXAN reported. The sticker that reads “Unity” is being worn by all the Big 12 teams.
In a press conference earlier this week, Herman hinted about the patch: “Our leadership council decided that we were going to have one unified message sewed into a patch on their jersey. We have a message, but I’m not sure the leadership council wants me to give it away.”
A few days earlier, the Texas Volleyball Twitter account released a video with the same words: “We are one.”
Joe Jamail Field Has Been Renamed in Honor of 2 Heismann Trophy Winners
For the last few months, many University of Texas at Austin football players have been vocal about their support for Black Lives Matter. They issued a list of demands in June and said if those demands weren’t met, they wouldn’t be helping with recruiting players or helping with donor events, KVUE reported. The list included renaming multiple buildings, replacing statues with more diverse statues, an outreach program for inner cities, and including modules for freshmen that would discuss the history of racism on campus. They also sought more diversity in the Hall of Fame.
The school announced a number of changes in response to these demands, KVUE reported. Among these are a statue of Julius Whittier at the DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, renaming buildings on campus, and more. However, the school’s The Eyes of Texas song would not be changed.
Joe Jamail Field has also been renamed in honor of Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams, two Heisman Trophy winners. Dahr Jamail and his brothers made the request after seeing the George Floyd video, the Statesman reported. Dahr Jamail said: ” was just weeping, thinking how low have we gone? … For a few days, I was just sort of thinking is there anything any of us can do besides just raise hell… If you don’t take chances on things that are right, it’s wrong. Pretty basic.”
The Longhorns also joined other athletes in a call for change and five steps needed to make that change.