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Kansas State gets ready for Florida Atlantic amidst a firestorm

We can’t reasonably talk about a football game without discussing yesterday’s stupidity.

Yes, that is Jeff Driskel’s little brother.
Yes, that is Jeff Driskel’s little brother.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Racism exists and, unfortunately, you cannot be protected from expressions of it.

That’s a harsh and sad truth, but it’s truth nonetheless. If an individual is a racist (or even just a moron who doesn’t get that faux-racism isn’t funny), there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them from making a fool of themselves in your presence.

You can only react after the fact. You can do whatever is in your power to stamp out the mindset, a process which is an agonizingly slow cultural shift which will -- sad to say — not conclude within your lifetime. While worms are feasting on your remains, we will still have racists. Hopefully a lot fewer than we have now, just like there are a lot fewer now than when you were born.

Obviously, we all know about the incident to which I’m referring. It’s depressing, principally for the damage that word inflicts, but also for the broad brush K-State got painted with yesterday due to the actions of a stupid, stupid girl who’s no longer even a student at our fine university, and who had even been thrown out of her sorority last year for still-unknown reasons.

But that doesn’t mean a problem doesn’t exist.

Things are not perfect at K-State. Having discussed the matter with some students of color last year during the Missouri protests, I’m confident that Manhattan isn’t a hotbed of white supremacist activity, but there are still pockets of dumbassery out there. In that vein, some important things to remember here.

One: You may think it’s absurd for a black student to say stuff like this makes them feel unsafe on campus. Unless you are one yourself, you have no idea how they feel, and telling other people how they should feel is icky. Don’t do that. Listen to them tell you what it means to them rather than worrying about what it means to you.

Two: Just because Manhattan really isn’t too bad in this respect doesn’t mean it can’t be better. There is no acceptable level of racism other than “zero”. And yes, it’s a long-range ideal we may never see, but thinking we’ve done enough is a loser mentality. So don’t ever dismiss stuff like this as “isolated incidents”. They should always be condemned, never excused. Excusing it is what makes people think this stuff is okay.

Three: A lot of folks may not be familiar with K-State’s Black Student Union. You should pay heed to their statement. You may not agree with all their ideas, but I daresay you’d be hard-pressed to find a similar cultural organization which embodies the thoughtful and reasonable mentality of the average Kansan as well as the BSU. This is not an organization which goes off half-cocked, as you might be able to figure from the general lack of disruption on campus. They have always worked with the administration in an environment of respectful exchange.

Four: On the other hand, you can take pride in the administration’s response. Kansas State did not dither yesterday. Pat Bosco issued a statement condemning the incident in no uncertain terms, and then rushed back to Manhattan from Kansas City to participate in a spur-of-the-moment open forum held by the BSU to discuss the incident. And that “environment of respectful exchange” works both ways. Unlike some other places, the K-State administration actively tries to do better rather than trying to sweep the problem under the rug.

Many will want to defend the honor of Kansas State. Knock yourself out. It’s worth defending. But in doing so, don’t make the mistake of being dismissive of the problem, or delude yourself into thinking there isn’t one just because it’s not that bad.

After all, I think half of Bill Snyder’s 16 goals are applicable here... specifically 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 15, and 16.

And with that, onto the news:

Football

First, if you missed it, Jon’s Q&A with Ryan Lynch, FAU writer for Forgotten 5, is here, and this morning TB Kicked the Tires.

FIVE drops in the last 24 hours from the very, very busy Kellis Robinett at the Star/Eagle: the Cats are hoping to get the running game cooking with gas this week against a shaky FAU run D, while they’re concerned about facing their second Driskel quarterback in two years. Bill Snyder wants tight end Dayton Valentine to end up with the ball more often, and he’s also posted his three-minute preview as well as a mailbag session.

At the Capital-Journal, Ken Corbitt also looks for K-State to establish the run tomorrow.

And that’s all we’ve got for you as far as football today. Where is everyone else?

Volleyball

It seems unbelievable, but this weekend K-State (8-2, ranked 25th) completes its non-conference schedule at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville as they compete in the Arkansas Invitational. As they have the last two weekends, they’ll play twice today: their match with UMKC (7-3) is just getting underway as this is being posted, and they face Arkansas (1-7) at 7pm tonight. Tomorrow at 10am they’ll clash with Southern Miss (9-3).

Soccer

It’s finally here. After a couple of years of anticipation, Kansas State (2-4-2) will finally step onto its own pitch and play a real soccer game. The Cats will officially open the K-State Soccer Complex tonight at 7pm, taking on the Northern Iowa Panthers (3-4-1). The game will be televised, which means tonight there will be a game thread!

In today’s Sports Extra, Corbin McGuire profiles Abbey and Kelcy Fiser, transfers from Ball State who have a very, very deep familial relationship with K-State athletics going back three generations.