And thanks to the Los Angeles Times, we have their full statement
Read the document below:
As student-athletes at UCLA, our lives consist of a challenging balance between sports and our academic endeavors. Although the University and Athletic Department provide support at various junctures within our careers, the responsibility to uphold and assert our rights as athletes and human beings falls within our own hands. Time and time again, we see individuals within Athletic programs who ought to defend and protect us, leave us in the dark to fend for ourselves. Starting with neglected and mismanaged injury cases, to a now mismanaged Covid-19 pandemic, our voices have been continuously muffled, and we will no longer stand for such blatant injustices.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, announcements from the Center of Disease Control and corresponding state and local health authorities clearly recommend the need for safety guidelines in public and private settings to ensure the safety and health of the people. As a result of precedents set by former and current Athletic Staffs, we will no longer leave the topic of our health and safety in the hands of those who have perpetually failed us. Furthermore, we will no longer stand for the condonation of these types of failures.
We as a football community assert our right to protect, preserve, and make decisions with regard to our own personal health and safety and now demand that we are able to do so without consequence in terms of reduction, or cancellation of scholarship benefits, or retaliation from coaches and faculty in any shape or form. As such, current mandatory gatherings planned to take place by July 6th, and situations that follow wherein practices of social distancing could potentially deteriorate should be attended within the discretion of student-athletes.
Furthermore, should an athlete choose to attend these events, we demand that third-party health officials, tasked with enforcing Covid-19 regulations and identifying breaches in conduct, be present at all team activities and events in order to mitigate detrimental consequences placed on students by the possible future mishandling and neglect of Covid-19 related cases. These health officials, who ought to have no affiliation with the university or the football program, would further contribute to the prevention of serious injury, abuse, and death as a direct result of said mismanagements.
Finally, in tandem with the governance of appropriately appointed third-party health officials, we demand a space or platform for athletes and staff to directly express concerns with regard to violations of safety standards in an anonymous fashion not controlled or administered by the Athletic Department or any related offices.
As members of the College Football community, and as student-athletes as a whole, we hope to ensure that the safety and well-being of student athletes is the main priority of the athlete’s respective school, and the NCAA. These demands reflect our call for an environment in which we do not feel pressured to return to competition, and if we choose not to return, that our decision will be respected. If our demands are not met, we will refrain from booster events, recruiting events, and all football related promotional activities. The decision to return to training amidst a global pandemic has put us, the student athletes, on the frontlines of a battle that we as a nation have not yet been able to win. We feel that as some of the first members of the community to attempt a return to normalcy, we must have assurances that allow us to make informed decisions and be protected regardless of our decision.
● Third-party health officials in charge of overseeing and enforcing health and safety guidelines. Also, see that guidelines should be clearly and publicly stated
● Whistleblower protections provided for athletes and staff (protection of position/job) who want to report violations of any guidelines
● Ability to make decisions with regard to personal health without consequences in terms of loss of scholarship or retaliation from coaches in any form. That is, it should be within an athlete’s discretion to put his or her health at risk and attend a sports related event without consequences.
And then the document is signed by the 30 players listed below.
General Representative III 2020-2021