Oklahoma football: How SAE fueled an OU turnaround
The squish-squash of shoes on wet pavement and the sound of steady rain were all that could be heard as the 105 members of OU’s football team marched arm-in-arm into their indoor practice facility March 9, 2015.
Joined by Bob Stoops, assistant coaches and athletic director Joe Castiglione, they were scheduled to begin practice shortly. But no one was dressed for it. Instead, on this Monday afternoon, the demonstrators wore mostly black from head to toe.
The night before, a video surfaced on social media showing members of OU’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity participating in a racist chant.
“There will never be a n—– SAE,” it rang through a bus led by two members, later identified as Parker Rice and Levi Petitt, with fists in the air.
The outrage spurred by those words created two weeks of unrest at the University of Oklahoma — a period dotted with hostility, demonstrations and protest. As national media got hold of the story, the debate over racism on college campuses in America was rekindled.