As controversy grows over the University of Texas school song, one player said he was threatened by alumni of the university for his refusal to participate.
“The Eyes of Texas,” traditionally sung after home games, has come under fire in recent months over concerns that the song and the tradition behind it are steeped in racism. In recent days, the controversy has reignited after a report in the Texas Tribune revealed that alumni threatened to withhold donations from the university if students did not participate, calling them “snowflakes,” among other things.
Caden Sterns, who started for three years in safety for the Longhorns, added to the controversy by revealing on Twitter that he was also threatened by alumni for the song.
“My teammates and I were threatened by some alumni that we would have to find work outside of Texas if we did not participate,” Sterns wrote.
The song has ties to Confederate General Robert E. Lee and minstrel shows, which are comedic recreation of racial stereotypes. The University of Texas band did not play the song for the football team’s last two home games.
Sterns was a member of the All-Big 12 first team in 2018 and will enter the 2021 NFL Draft. He is projected to be a last-round pick.