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Are college athletes recognizing their power?

FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2019, file photo, Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill plays...
FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2019, file photo, Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill plays against Abilene Christian in an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss. Mississippi State's All-Southeastern Conference running back Kylin Hill recently took to Twitter to make his strong feelings known about the Mississippi state flag, which has the Confederate battle emblem in the top left corner. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 11:07 AM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill said on social media he wouldn’t play for the Bulldogs this upcoming season unless the state flag is changed.

A week later the state of Mississippi legislature voted to change its state flag due to the presence of the Confederate flag within it.

A group of Kansas State student-athletes said they will not participate in “all athletic-related events” unless the university takes action in the wake of a tweet by a student mocking the death of George Floyd.

Days later, Kansas State University President Richard Myers said the school is launching an immediate review of the incident.

UCLA football players have come together to demand their health and safety is protected as they approach a return to campus, workouts and, eventually, practice. Stating that if their demands are not met, they will refrain from booster events, recruiting events, and all football-related promotional activities.

Soon after UCLA set up an anonymous hotline and a web link where players can share any concerns about their return during the pandemic, including naming coaches or other staff who aren’t following protocols. UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said, athletes, will face no scholarship losses or other penalties if they choose not to participate this fall.

Are players starting to realize when they come together, with a common goal, they are powerful enough to force change and fast change at that?

According to Business Insider, the NCAA brings in one billion dollars a year. What can the NCAA do when all its athletes are on the same page and threaten their one billion dollar bottom dollar?

With some NCAA administrators and coaches making millions of dollars a year they know they need players to make that. And little by little, players are realizing their value. Scholarship money alone doesn’t balance the scales anymore. This is why we’re seeing “name, image, and likeness” legislation popping up around the country.

Athletes are using their voice more than ever to create positive change and the shut up and play days are looking like they are coming to an end.

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