One week after Asia Todd said she was leaving Liberty University and its women’s basketball team over “racial insensitivities, a pair of Liberty football players is making a similar announcement. The two football athletes to follow Todd are Tayvion Land and Kei’Trel Clark.
After a tweet was sent from the school’s president Jerry Falwell Jr. that showed a person in Blackface and another dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, Todd, a freshman, said she was entering the transfer portal.
Land, a safety, and Clark, a cornerback for Liberty’s football team, both expressed that they’re planning to do the same. None of the players mentioned Falwell or his tweet specifically.
“My short time spent with the athletic department and most professors at Liberty University was much appreciated as it helped me improve my skills, gain new experiences and meet a diverse group of friends,” Land tweeted on Monday, June 22.
“Unfortunately, due to the racial insensitivity displayed by leadership at Liberty University, I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal and no longer be a student-athlete at Liberty University,” he continued. “I pray that I am able to be provided with a opportunity at a new school that respects my culture and provides a comfortable environment. Bless it! #BLM.”
Land played in 11 of the team’s 13 games as a freshman and racked up 23 tackles; he forced and recovered one fumble.
Like Todd and Land, Clark, a native of Richmond, Virginia, cited the school’s leadership as the cause for his departure. Clark had 38 tackles in the 13 games that he played last season as a freshman. He also had one sack.
On Monday, June 22, he tweeted, “I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal and I will no longer be attending Liberty University. This decision has been well thought out and prayed on. This decision is simply bigger than football or the program. The program, staff, and teammates were a complete blessing to my life. Over this year I have developed relationships that I will forever cherish and bonds that will not be broken.”
Clark added, “However due to the cultural incompetent within multiple levels of leadership, it does not line up with my code of ethics. So therefore I had to do what I felt like was right in my heart and I pray that you support me and pray for me as I find a new home to further my education and football career. Thank you! #BLM”
Falwell sent the blackface and Ku Klux Klan tweet in May as a message of sorts to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and his order that Virginia residents have to wear masks because of COVID-19. Falwell called Northam “Governor Blackface” in that tweet.
Todd made her announcement about transferring in a video that was posted to social media on June 10. She wrote, “Please know that this decision was not taken lightly. This decision had nothing to do with basketball or the program for this decision was simply bigger than basketball … Due to the racial insensitivities shown within the leadership and culture, it simply does not align with my moral compass or personal convictions.”
She received a slew of support after the announcement. Land and Clark received similar encouragement.
“You’ve got the talent. You’ve got the work ethic. You can make it to the next level from anywhere. They’ll find you,” someone wrote to Clark on Twitter. “Trust in yourself. Choose a place that matches who you are.”
Under Land’s message, someone wrote, “From a Liberty Alum – Glad you’re taking your talents somewhere where ALL aspects and parts of you will be appreciated and respected from the top down. Best of luck out there!”