Ducks Promote Social Justice On Gameday
For the first three years of his career at Oregon, cornerback Deommodore Lenoir wore jersey No. 6.
When his senior season was put in jeopardy, Lenoir opted to declare for the 2021 NFL draft. But when the Pac-12 decided to play a seven-game schedule this fall, Lenoir changed his mind.
That wasn't the only major change Lenoir made this offseason. After watching the social justice movement that swept the United States this summer, Lenoir decided to acknowledge the movement in his own way: He changed his jersey to No. 0.
The NCAA approved the use of No. 0 just this season. But Lenoir didn't chose it for the sake of novelty.
"With all of the stuff going on in the world," he said, "I just took it as (signifying) zero tolerance for racism."
Lenoir will get his first chance to wear No. 0 when the Ducks open the 2020 season against Stanford in Autzen Stadium on Saturday (4:30 p.m., ABC). And that won't be the only recognition of the fight for social justice.
Prior to kickoff, players for the Ducks and Cardinal will link arms on their respective sidelines for 30 seconds, in a "Show of Solidarity" agreed to by both teams earlier this week.
Oregon's helmets for the game will be adorned with a sticker adorned with the message "End Racism." Players wore shirts with that slogan during warmups.
Members of the UO football program led discussions on the message they wanted to communicate Saturday. They decided on "End Racism," and received agreement from the full team.
The steps taken Saturday were in conjunction with the other Pac-12 schools to collectively highlights issues of inclusion, social justice and anti-racism. Conference members have spent the past several months coordinating through the Pac-12 Football Leadership team, the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, the Student-Athlete Leadership Team and the Pac-12 ImPACt Leadership council, the conference's social justice and anti-racism advisory committee.
The conference also worked with student-athletes from across various sports at member universities to produce public service announcements that will air on the Pac-12 Network, social media channels and national broadcasts.