A handful of USC football players have expressed support for the Pac-12 players’ opt-out movement.
Sunday proved to be an explosive day for Pac-12 football as players in the conference, including some from USC football, threatened to sit out the 2020 season unless health, safety, social justice and financial demands are met.
Big names from teams like Oregon, including star lineman Penei Sewell and safety Jevon Holland, headlined support for the movement. Meanwhile, Washington State took a major PR hit when players’ families reported backlash against those who joined up. Audio of head coach Nick Rolovich addressing one such player hit the internet.
As wild as it got elsewhere, things stayed relatively quiet around USC.
Which USC football players have supported the Pac-12 opt-out?
Players released their demands on The Players Tribune on Sunday with 12 media contacts attached. However, no representatives from USC were included in that number.
Instead, a handful of Trojans took to social media to express public support for the opt-out.
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Starting offensive lineman Jalen McKenzie, safety Isaiah Pola-Mao and nickelback Greg Johnson were among the first, and most high-profile players to jump on board.
Other Trojans who posted graphics of support on Instagram include offensive lineman Frank Martin, linebacker Hunter Echols,
Though not explicitly posting their support, multiple players did like the Instagram posts, including linebacker Tayler Katoa, wide receiver Munir McClain, long snapper Damon Johnson, cornerback Jayden Williams, cornerback Adonis Otey, defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu, defensive lineman Stanley Ta’ufo’ou’o, defensive lineman Jacob Lichtenstein, defensive lineman Caleb Tremblay, linebacker Abdul-Malik McClain, running back Vavae Malepeai, offensive lineman Liam Douglass, offensive lineman Jason Rodriguez, punter Ben Griffiths, safety Briton Allen and defensive lineman Jamar Sekona.
On Twitter, Chase Williams and many of the same players who posted on Instagram also showed their support.
Bru McCoy was among the players who retweeted the graphic.
However, there wasn’t complete unity over the issue.
Cornerback Chris Steele took to Twitter to express his own views on the movement.
“Everyone was so geeked about the schedules coming out the other day. What happened lol?” he started a string of tweets.
“I came to USC to play football and make it out for me and mine… idk what they on,” he continued.
Running back Markese Stepp retweeted that message.
Steele went on to retweet Colorado cornerback Mekhi Blackmon, who spoke about a desire to play despite supporting the movement.
Across town, UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was one of the few Pac-12 quarterbacks to speak on the issue (Kedon Slovis has yet to post on Instagram or Twitter).
The Bruin passer voiced support for the petition but said outright he isn’t on board with opting out.
USC running back Markese Stepp quote tweeted the statement: “Feel u on this one bruh. Gotta get to the paper frfr.”
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So there you have it. Some players have outright supported the petition and its demands. Others have given it the thumbs up alone. Still others have publicly denied the possibility of opting out.
Rest assured, this isn’t the last we’ll hear on this topic.