Pac-12 football players are threatening to sit out preseason camps and regular-season games until negotiations with the conference are completed and their demands regarding racial injustice and safety during the coronavirus pandemic are addressed, according to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg and Mark Schlabach.
The group's goal is to "obtain a written contract with the Pac- 12 that legally ensures we are offered the following protections and benefits," according to a text message obtained by ESPN.
Demands include safe play amid the COVID-19 pandemic, economic rights and fair compensation, the protection of all sports, long-term health insurance, and an effort by the league to address and combat racial injustice, which is the central issue for the players.
A Pac-12 football program staff member said the movement is "real" and it could involve hundreds of student-athletes, according to ESPN.
The Pac-12 said the group hasn't contacted the conference yet.
"Neither the conference nor our university athletics departments have been contacted by this group regarding these topics," the Pac-12 stated. "We support our student-athletes using their voice, and have regular communications with our student-athletes at many different levels on a range of topics.
"As we have clearly stated with respect to our fall competition plans, we are, and always will be, directed by medical experts, with the health, safety and well being of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff always the first priority. We have made it clear that any student-athlete who chooses not to return to competition for health or safety reasons will have their scholarship protected."
Cal, Oregon, Stanford, and UCLA are some of the schools that are part of the group, and at least a few head coaches are aware of the potential boycott, a source told ESPN.
Two Big 12 schools - Texas and Kansas State - have recently faced similar situations involving student-athletes threatening to boycott the program if their demands for the conference to combat racism aren't addressed.