'We got lives outside of our jerseys': OU football players looking for fair treatment on, off field
NORMAN — The Big 12 Conference released its new public-service announcement, “You See Us Differently,” on Wednesday to confront racism and social injustice.
“We got lives outside of our jerseys,” Oklahoma defensive back Tre Brown said following practice Wednesday.
On the same day the Big 12 continued its anti-racism, anti-hate campaign, multiple Sooners opened up about how they are viewed on and off the field.
“When we go home, we're just a regular person like everybody else,” Brown said. “So we want to be treated like other people. Don't look at us as just football players. Also look at us as human beings because that's what we are. We have a life like everybody else.
“So, we expect to be treated fairly just like everybody else. We want a fair chance.”
Nickelback Brendan Radley-Hiles said the conversations are often uncomfortable, but they need to happen.
“It’s the world that we live in right now and it’s moving faster than ever,” Radley-Hiles said. “The only way that we can kind of come together and figure this thing out is communication. I feel that is the best thing that everyone can do and get on the same page and as one accord.
“That’s how you get things done. You can’t move it single-handedly. It’s about coming together, communicating and having those tough conversations and getting your feelings and your expressions out and your experiences out. It’s putting everything on the table. That will keep us moving forward.”
As for how fans have received the players’ messages, both Brown and Radley-Hiles said it’s been a mixed reaction.
Some get it. Some don’t.
“I feel like they need to be a little bit more understanding,” Brown said. “Not everybody's gonna get you because not everybody understands where you're coming from, because not everybody's in your shoes. So it's hard for people to get you.
“I feel like what people need to do better is understand. Try to understand. That'd be the easiest thing to do for someone who's not in my shoes.”