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The Texas Longhorns football team. Photo: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Some student-athletes at the University of Texas at Austin said they will no longer help recruit new players or attend donor events unless the school addresses a list of demands to make the environment "more comfortable and more inclusive for the black athletes and the black community," according to various athletes' social media posts.

Why it matters: Protests in the wake of the George Floyd killing have sparked a nationwide discussion on racism, and college athletes are speaking out on social issues and driving the conversation in ways their predecessors could only dream about, writes Axios' Jeff Tracy.

Details: On the laundry list of demands, the group is asking the university to rename several campus buildings which were designated for people believed to have connections to racism.

  • The group also called for some statues to be removed and replaced with "more diverse statues on campus designed by artists/sculptors who are people of color.”
  • They demand that incoming freshmen be taught about the history of racism on campus.
  • They have requested that a black athletic history exhibit on campus, and that the athletic department give 0.5% of its yearly earnings to black organizations and the Black Lives Matter movement.

What they're saying: “The recent events across the country regarding racial injustice have brought to light the systemic racism that has always been prevalent in our country as well as the racism that has historically plagued our campus,” the letter states.

  • “We, as student athletes, and collectively as the University of Texas Longhorn football team, are aware that we are an athletic department made up of many black athletes, and believe that it is time we become active on our campus.”

What's next: The athletes have asked that their demands be addressed "through the implementation or a plan for implementation at the start of the fall semester,” slated to begin August 26.

Go deeper

Updated Aug 29, 2020 - Health

University of Alabama reports 1,052 COVID-19 cases since in-person classes began

Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The University of Alabama on Friday reported an additional 485 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff since in-person classes resumed on Aug. 19, bringing the total number cases up to 1,052, according to the university's coronavirus dashboard.

Why it matters: The outbreak underscores concerns from public health experts that in-person classes could cause community spread within school populations. The total reported on Friday does not include the 381 positive tests caught when students, faculty and staff first re-entered campus.

Ben Carson defends Trump against accusations of racism at RNC

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson defended President Trump against accusations of racism at the Republican National Convention on Thursday.

Why it matters: Carson, the only Black member of Trump's Cabinet, has become a loyal ally and defender of the president since running against him in the 2016 Republican primary.

Updated 26 mins ago - Economy & Business

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.