Group of Pac-12 players threaten to boycott season

A group of Pac-12 players from multiple schools are threatening to opt out of upcoming practices and this season’s games unless their demands for fair treatment, safety regulations and racial justice concerns are met by the conference.The group revealed their demands in a letter published Sunday in The Players’ Tribune. They began organizing about a month ago and are using the hashtag #WeAreUnited.The letter started off this way:”To ensure future generations of college athletes will be treated fairly, #WeAreUnited.Because NCAA sports exploit college athletes physically, economically and academically, and also disproportionately harm Black college athletes, #WeAreUnited.In rejecting the NCAA’s claim that #BlackLivesMatter while also systematically exploiting Black athletes nationwide, #WeAreUnited.Because we are being asked to play college sports in a pandemic in a system without enforced health and safety standards, and without transparency about COVID cases on our teams, the risks to ourselves, our families, and our communities, #WeAreUnited.Because we must have adequate COVID testing to help protect our health, #WeAreUnited.”The group of players include Stanford cornerback Treyjohn Butler; California offensive linemen Jake Curhan and Valentino Daltoso and cornerback Joshua Drayden; Oregon State cornerback Jaydon Grant; UCLA defensive back Elisha Guidry; Arizona cornerback Malik Hausman; Washington State defensive lineman Dallas Hobbs; Oregon safety Jevon Holland; Washington receiver Ty Jones and linebacker Joe Tryon; and Arizona State offensive lineman Cody Shear.The players cited “Pac-12 Football Unity Demands” in the letter, beginning with health and safety protections that give players the option to choose not to play during the coronavirus pandemic without losing athletic ability or a spot on the roster.They also requested that the Pac-12 not force players to sign COVID-19 agreements that waive liability.As far as the racial injustice issue, the players desire a permanent civic-engagement task force to deal with such issues in college sports and society. They also request that 2 percent of Pac-12 revenue be directed to support financial aid for low-income Black students.