OMAHA, Neb. >> The Nebraska men’s basketball team plans to take a public stand Saturday against the views of a university student who described himself as a white nationalist in a widely distributed online video.
Coach Tim Miles said Friday the team would wear T-shirts reading “Hate Will Never Win” at the game against Rutgers in Lincoln. Players also were making a video rejecting racism and hate to be shown on the Pinnacle Bank Arena screens.
“The No. 1 thing, our guys realize they are in a place to make a great impact,” Miles said. “The exposure over the next six weeks, their message can be strong and they can have a positive impact on our campus community.”
The Nebraska campus has roiled this week after videos surfaced of biochemistry major Daniel Kleve of Norfolk professing to be the most active white nationalist in the state, disparaging Martin Luther King Jr., African-Americans and Mexicans and supporting violence.
Nebraska spokeswoman Leslie Reed said the group that released the initial video was Antifa Nebraska and is not a campus-affiliated group.
About 300 students attended a campus rally Wednesday to oppose hate speech. Miles, who attended the rally, said his players chose not to go.
Chancellor Ronnie Green said however hateful and intolerant Kleve’s message is, it is protected by the First Amendment.
Miles said he noticed his players were subdued before their game at Minnesota on Tuesday, and they met on the plane ride back to Lincoln to discuss a possible response to the videos.
“I think it was jarring for the men’s and women’s teams both,” Miles said. “It hit close to home. It’s like when you see the neighbor interviewed about the guy next door and the chaos he just created. The neighbor says, ‘This isn’t supposed to happen here.’”
University administrators and staff from the campus’ multicultural center met with the players and answered questions about free speech and safety.
“I’m proud of the guys,” Miles said. “I’m glad they’re willing to take a stand against prejudice, hate and racism. We want to make this a positive thing going forward, and I think we can make a difference.”