RENO — The University of Nevada, Reno has announced plans to bring Colin Kaepernick back to campus and craft policies to make the campus a better place for black students, faculty and staff following the national protests over George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.
University President Marc Johnson said he could not elaborate on when the former NFL quarterback might return to the university, whose campus is closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. But Johnson said new efforts by the university include a public review of campus policing protocols.
Additional images of Kaepernick and tributes throughout the campus are also being planned this summer, Johnson said.
Kaepernick graduated from the university in 2011 after playing all four years on its football team. He went on to the NFL and gained national attention when he kneeled during the national anthem in 2016, a decision he has said was intended to bring awareness to the oppression of people of color.
The university's Wednesday announcement, prominently displayed on its website's homepage, came more than two weeks after Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes while he was handcuffed and lying on the ground. His death prompted protests across the U.S. and around the world against police brutality and racial injustice.
The protests have reignited conversations about oppression and have drawn correlations to Kaepernick's efforts.
"Our black students and our student athletes, in particular, have raised this and they would like to see more images of Kaepernick here because it is so timely with the relationship with the George Floyd killing," Johnson said.
The university has also said it would review its policing standards, training and protocols, review its African Diaspora Program to ensure black student needs are being met, explore test score alternatives for course placement and expand cultural competency education across campus.