KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt on Thursday said the team has discussed wearing black jerseys against Kentucky this season that would be auctioned off to raise money for Black Lives Matter.
After Jeremy Pruitt and several players spoke at a peaceful protest in downtown Knoxville earlier this month, Pruitt told ESPN Radio the team had formed a ‘culture committee’ that would be led by assistant head coach Tee Martin to identify ways they can use their platform to inspire change.
When asked about any ideas the committee had come up with on Thursday, Pruitt said the team had begun the process of registering all players to vote and have discussed wearing black jerseys against Kentucky that would be auctioned off to benefit the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
“Its been really good and it’s something that Tee (Martin) has done a fantastic heading up, getting our players involved and getting feedback,” Pruitt said, “We’re in the process now. We’ve started today getting all of our players registered to vote. That’s a start.
“There’s a lot things when students get back on campus, speakers that we planned to come in here. There are some things we want to do during the season. One of the things we want to do is when we play the Kentucky game, we want to wear black jerseys. When the game is over with, we want to find a way to auction the jerseys and raise money for Black Lives Matter.
“That’s just one thing that our kids have talked about but its something that’s going to continue to be stressed within our staff. With Tee’s leadership and the guys within our programs, there’s lots of really good ideas and ways we can help improve and use our platform to create change.”
When players returned to campus, Pruitt said the team sat down to discuss recent events in the country with players also sharing their own personal experiences. “We started with really sitting down with our team and talking about it, giving the floor to a lot of our players to share their experiences so that everyone within our program has a better understanding,” Pruitt said.
“I want to be an advocate for that, support the players, and use our platform at Tennessee to aid that.”Tennessee Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt
Tennessee hasn’t worn black uniforms since Halloween in 2009. Many have long advocated for the return of Tennessee’s black jerseys, most recently linebacker coach Brian Niedermeyer.