Caden Sterns was a three-year starter at safety for the Texas Longhorns. He was First-Team All-Big 12 and the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2018 and is a member of the 2021 NFL Draft class, jumping to the league following his junior year. He also claims he was threatened by Texas alumni if he refused to participate in the singing of The Eyes of Texas after games.
The controversy over that song was reignited on Monday thanks to a report in the Texas Tribune that uncovered emails sent to Texas president Jay Hartzell from alumni and donors. The Eyes of Texas is the school's traditional postgame song and has a history steeped in racism. The team has traditionally stood on the field after games and sung the song with fans in the stands, but after last summer's racial and social justice protests, athletes and students at Texas objected to the tune.
The emails uncovered feature threats to stop donations if the song was no longer played, or if players didn't participate in the tradition. Some of the messages were racially charged, while others claim players and students were either uninformed or "snowflakes."
After that report went public, Sterns took to Twitter and claimed he and fellow teammates were threatened that they would have to find jobs outside of Texas if they didn't participate.
Sterns, who is Black and a Texas native, revealed that information knowing backlash was sure to follow. The fact that alums would go after players and threaten them is insane. Remember, this is all over a stupid song that has roots in blackface minstrel shows and was inspired by Robert E. Lee. It's not shocking the players want nothing to do with it.
The culture at Texas surrounding this moronic song is so toxic it's insane. Why would any Black recruit want to go to Texas knowing your future employment could be in jeopardy if you don't take part in a ritual honoring a song with a racist past?
Good luck with that, Longhorns.