Most of us in the stands watched with concern as Oregon State University redshirt junior quarterback Jake Luton was attended to after being injured in the Sept. 16 football game versus WSU. However, while most eyes were on Luton, my eyes were on the WSU players and coaching staff.
For the vast majority of the time it took to assess and move Luton to the ambulance, nearly every player and staff member, with few exceptions, continued about their sideline business as if nothing was happening, certainly not acting with concern for the injured player. It was not until he was being transported off the field that our team decided to finally take a knee.
While I understand that the game must go on, we must recognize that we cannot even have football games if we have no opponent. Furthermore, while they may be “the enemy” for the day, Luton and every other player who steps onto our field is a human being with people who care tremendously about him, just like us.
Our team’s indifference for a severely injured player was tough to watch, and I know as Cougs, we are better than that. In the future, let’s take a knee. Let’s show other teams how great the Cougar nation is by welcoming them into our stadium, and showing grace and empathy in the face of an injury. We’re better than this, and it’s high time we start acting like it.