East Tennessee State University head coach Jason Shay has announced his resignation from the program after just a year at the helm, and ETSU players believe the head coach has been kicked out for his support to its players protesting against racial injustice during the national anthem. .
Shay announced his resignation on March 30, citing personal challenges and a desire to pursue new goals.
“This past year has been extremely difficult for me in many ways. Now is the right time for a new challenge and an opportunity to reset my personal and professional goals, ”he said in a statement.
MORE: A timeline of protests during the national anthem
Players, however, don’t think the whole story is told. ETSU’s Jordan Coffin tweeted his support for Shay in the week following the resignation, citing his support for the protests during the anthem as a potential reason, while other players shared the same opinion.
So much love for @ jshay5 And his family … Thanks guys for everything💙. Shay, thank you for taking a stand with us and supporting us when no one else has. Forever, grateful🙏🏽💯 https://t.co/U4giYIH0DP
– Jordan Coffin ߙ (@ J2coldCoffin) March 31, 2021
“It’s all about us kneeling and then Coach Shay supporting us through all of this … people should want a coach who stands behind their players like everything. I don’t think it is. fair, life is not fair, for that to play a part in a coach who cares and supports his players, for that to be part of the reasons he has to quit, so I don’t want a part of that. “
Truth Harris, who is now on the NCAA transfer portal, told ESPN that Shay’s resignation was crazy and pointed to bigger issues as well.
“Personally, I think quitting is crazy,” Harris told ESPN. “It shows a lot of what’s going on in this city and in this country right now.”
Thank you, @ jshay5 I like you. thank you for staying with us throughout this weird year … if no one else does i have love for you and i am grateful to be part of your first team as a head coach !! 🏆
– David Sloan (@ dsloan_4) March 30, 2021
In February, Tennessee lawmakers pushed to ban protests during the national anthem ahead of sporting events following the ETSU on its knees before a clash against Chattanooga on February 15.
Shay wholeheartedly supported the right of his players to protest during the national anthem at the time, and he is now unemployed.