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ISU Offensive Coordinator Fired for Too Much Unity

The totalitarian slave is only allowed to memorize, to salivate when the bell rings.

-Joost A.M. Meerloo

A lawsuit has been filed after Illinois State University’s offensive coordinator Kurt Beathard was removed from his post after replacing a “Black Lives Matter” poster with a poster that read “All Lives Matter to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Beathard had removed the poster after head coach Brock Spack asked him to, but was fired anyways in September, 2020.

According to the lawsuit, Beathard was fired because he did not “toe the party line regarding Black Lives Matter.” The Black Lives Matter poster on the former offensive coordinator’s door was placed there while he was out on leave following the death of his wife, who had suffered from breast cancer. Once he returned, he put up a poster that better reflected his stance. Spack asked him to remove the poster, and he listened.

According to the lawsuit, Spack referred to the Black Lives Matter movement as “freaking nuts,” while ISU’s former athletic director Larry Lyons, who has since resigned, once said “All Redbird’s Lives Matter” during a Zoom meeting that was utilized to encourage unity. The school’s mascot is a redbird. Lyons was forced to apologize for his statement and resigned in October, 2020.

Beathard is now suing both Spack and Lyons for violating his First Amendment rights. ISU is not only a public university, it’s Illinois’ first public university. Public university officials are considered government actors to an extent. They are unable to take actions that abridge anyone’s right to speak freely, thanks to the First Amendment. Despite laws already being in place to prevent situation’s similar to Beathard’s, colleges and universities across the country continue to violate the First Amendment.

The university attempted to compel Beathard’s views by placing the Black Lives Matter poster on his door in the first place. When he replaced the poster with one that better reflected his personal stance, he was asked to remove it. Complying with the request wasn’t good enough, however, because it became abundantly obvious that he refused to be an echo chamber for the movement.

The message suggesting that all lives matter in the eyes of the Lord is not a controversial one. In fact, it’s what many religious texts preach. The media, however, has promoted “All Lives Matter” as a message of hate and anti-BLM, ignoring the fact that black lives are included in all lives. As the offensive coordinator at ISU, Beathard was expected to promote whatever political agenda the university currently backs.

We live in an era where we’re being told to sacrifice our individuality if we want to put food on our tables. Our individuality is what makes life worth living. We’re already expected to work for a third of our lives. Now, we’re being told to adopt the same views as our employers. Our actions outside of the workplace are constantly being put under a microscope; it’s almost like we’re constantly at work. Liberty is a reason to live. Underneath our careers, families, and friends, we’re all individuals with our own dreams and aspirations. We have our own ideologies and sets of beliefs that help guide us on our journey. We need to stop letting those who profit off of virtue dictate how we all live our lives.

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