BYU football player responds to fan criticism of team’s ‘Be the change’ video

BYU linebacker Chaz Ah You speaks during BYU Football’s “Be the change” video. (BYU Football)

BYU Football released a video on Wednesday evening titled “Be the change” featuring several players of all races speaking out on the recent social unrest in America.

Junior linebacker Chaz Ah You took to Twitter on Thursday to respond to fan criticisms that appeared in the replies to the video. His Tweet, which has since been deleted, read as follows:

“Disappointed that fans turned this into a competition of what lives are more valuable, or made it political. When it comes to field y’all are quick to praise but when it comes to EQUALITY off the field y’all are quick to condemn. We NEED you to understand our pain. Not fight it.” —(@Chazyboy03) June 11, 2020

In the video, Ah You and others, including quarterback Jaren Hall and tight end Matt Bushman, repeat the phrase, “Don’t wish for change. Be the change.” They call for justice following the death of George Floyd, and finish the video with the popular phrase, “Black lives matter.”

Ah You did not respond directly to any one comment, but several replies to the video included concern over the correlation between the phrase “Black lives matter,” and the political organization that shares the name.

“I love these kids. Beautiful, smart, talented. I love BYU Sports. It is not appropriate for BYU football to associate with a radical anti family organization that on their website promotes destroying the family. How about BYU football focus on winning games! That would be good,” said one Twitter user.

The Black Lives Matter organization’s website says it “disrupt(s) the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable.”

Some Twitter users pointed out, however, that the website also states, “We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work ‘double shifts’ so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.”

BYU Football offensive line coach Eric Mateos responded to the above comment with a humorous, but clear message:

The majority of the replies to the video on both Instagram and Twitter were extremely positive, but a few fans found it difficult to separate the phrase from the organization.

Ah You reiterated that the movement is about understanding the pain he and other people of color are experiencing during this time of mourning in the United States. He said fans are “quick to condemn” equality off the field and are fighting the pain the black community is feeling.

His father, Jasen Ah You, who works in recruiting for BYU Football, showed support for his son and the other players in the video with a Tweet on Thursday.

In addition to the ‘Be the change’ video, BYU Athletics released the following statement on June 1.

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