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An Illinois State football coach unexpectedly resigned from his position last week, leaving a sign on the door of his office on his way out.
Illinois State offensive coordinator Kurt Beathard gave little information about his sudden departure but did tell The Pantagraph that he left a sign on his office door that read “All Lives Matter to Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ” before his exit.
School officials reportedly told the outlet about the resignation of the Redbirds coach last week and he confirmed it the next day, though no one would discuss the circumstances surrounding the seemingly abrupt decision.
However, Beathard’s resignation came after a recent incident involving a “Black Lives Matter” poster in the Illinois State locker room. The poster hanging in the locker room in the Kaufman Football Building was reportedly removed without permission, according to The Pantagraph which reported that the sources “asked not to be identified for fear of retribution from university officials.”
But Beathard denied that he had anything to do with the poster in the locker room or its removal.
“That locker room crap is wrong. I took the sign down somebody put on my door. That’s it,” he said. “I didn’t take anything off that wasn’t put on my door. I wrote the message.”
Beathard, whose nephew, C.J. Beathard, is a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, was in his third stint with Illinois State, having returned in 2018 and spending 15 years as a coordinator in the FCS. His father, Bobby Beathard, who is now 83, was a general manager for the NFL and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018,
According to The Pantagrpah:
ISU spokesman Eric Jome referred questions about Beathard or the incident with the poster to the school’s athletic department. Redbird head coach Brock Spack and director of athletics Larry Lyons both said Thursday they had no comment because the matter was a personnel issue.
Ghaali Muhammad-Lankford and C.J. Irvin were named as co-offensive coordinators in a press release last Wednesday after Beathard’s departure. The quarterbacks coach position is to be assumed by Andy Belluomini.
Weeks earlier, the school’s athletic director sparked an outcry after saying “All Redbird Lives Matter” during a video conference with athletes. The comment caused some college athletes to call for temporary boycotts of team meetings, workouts and practices. The group ISU student-athletes posted a list of demands and also organized an “Athletics March for Black Voices” at the beginning of September in response.
ICYMI: ISU athletes are boycotting practice until certain demands are met following AD Larry Lyons “all lives matter” message. Bravo. pic.twitter.com/dVpZCUdfRO
— Kalley (@kalleydiane) August 31, 2020
Lyons, who has worked in the athletic department for 30 years, apologized at the time, though many felt it wasn’t enough after he had ended his talk to about 460 athletes with the phrase “All Redbirds Lives Matter.”
“I ended that by saying what my intention was: you all matter to me,” he said.
“I’m cognizant of Black Lives Matter,” Lyons added. “When you wrap all those services and all those programs put together, that’s important too. It’s important we deal with some of those other issues. I made a mistake, and I tried to wrap it into something (and it was) offensive to student-athletes.”
Meanwhile, the sudden resignation of Beathard sparked an outpouring of support on social media.
“All Lives Matter to Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ!” Kurt Beathard 2020
— henry jones (@henryjo06676203) September 28, 2020
@KurtBeathard all I can say is Thank You! Prayers to you and your family.
— MLH (@MLHADDEN) September 28, 2020
@KurtBeathard I stand with you coach!!!!
— Todd 🇺🇸 (@Todd69858312) September 28, 2020
@KurtBeathard you rock! Thank you for standing up for integrity, religion, and respect in college football. BLM is a racist, violent, hateful group that has infested our nation+we can stop it by our actions Walk away @CFB @seanhannity @TuckerCarlson @JesseBWatters @monstro_fan
— Violet (@Violet22162297) September 28, 2020
GUTSY & congratulations to Kurt Beathard for standing up for his beliefs!!!! VOTE RED!!! Go Trump 💕💕💕💕💕 https://t.co/4OpRlmRkNV
— Ginger snaps (@glp6200) September 28, 2020
@KurtBeathard way to take a stand !!!
— Ethan Hunt (@duckwisperer) September 28, 2020
@KurtBeathard stand strong man! Many of us support you!!!!
— SFC_MortarVet (@mortarvet) September 28, 2020
His principles were more important to him than some forced ideology that uses racism to combat racism. Can’t say I’d blame him.
I hope he falls on his feet and finds something new, especially after that painful loss he had when his wife died of cancer.
— Richard Di Biase (@bundesautobahn7) September 27, 2020
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