NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Several Northwestern State football players are speaking out against the cancellation of the remainder of the Demons season.
On Thursday, Northwestern State University President Marcus Jones announced the cancellation of the season and the resignation of head coach Brad Laird after the death of junior safety Ronnie Caldwell.
Sophomore tight end Travon Jones started a petition on his Instagram page in hopes of getting a chance to play the final three games of the season.
“I want a platform to where the players are heard,” said Jones. “I feel like this decision was made with not everybody knowing what was going on.”
Jones feels like ending the season wasn’t in the best interest of the Northwestern State players, and he says the best way to honor Caldwell would be to finish what they started.
“We understand that everybody grieves differently,” said Jones. “I feel like it should have been taken into consideration the ways that we grieve and I don’t think that was done.”
Jones isn’t the only player speaking out against the decision, as several players met with KTAL in downtown Natchitoches on Sunday. Starting quarterback Tyler Vander Waal posted on his Twitter account on Saturday questioning the decision.
Vander Waal says Jones’ petition is a good start to pressure the NSU Administration.
“It’s a great first step,” said the Demons starting quarterback. “I think it’s a great way to let the players voice their opinion on everything that’s going on.”
Vander Waal has fought through several adversities during his 7-year college football career and feels this could be a defining moment for current and future Northwestern State football players.
“I think this is a way to show we do want to play,” said Vander Waal. “It wasn’t our decision to just throw in the towel, we want to play.”