Last August, a football coach at the University of Illinois, Kurt Beathard, quitted his job because he traded a sign from the Marxist Black Lives Matters movement for one that said, “All lives matter to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” The Blaze reported.
Beathard, a devout Christian, arrived one day in mid-August at his office, and saw a sign posted on his door that read “Black Lives Matters,” which included the organization’s website. He did some research on the movement’s ideology and discovered that it advocates eliminating the family unit in addition to declaring itself openly Marxist.
The coach said, “I thought, ‘No, I can’t have this on my door. So, I took it off and put it behind the chair in my office. I was praying about it and I thought, ‘All lives matter here, and there’s no other organization other than Jesus Christ to sponsor that.’”
After considering the situation, he decided to write a poster himself with a more comprehensive message, “All lives matter to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” and hung it on his door.
The poster was stuck on his door for two weeks, until someone took pictures of it and circulated them at the university. Allegedly some students were offended, and the subject reached the ears of his superiors, who asked him nicely if he could take it down.
“They didn’t demand it,” Beathard recalled to The Blaze. “They just said, ‘As a favor, could you please take that off your door?’ I didn’t take it off right away. I sat there and prayed about it, and I said, ‘God knows where my heart is. That’s all that matters. If it will help to take it off, I’ll take it off.’”
However, on Sept. 2, authorities told him that he was no longer the team’s coach and had been reassigned.
Some local newspapers and even one student newspaper reported that Beathard had resigned his position, but the coach flatly denied it. “I never quit. I didn’t quit that job,” he confirmed in an interview with Outkick. They also accused the coach of removing other similar posters from the players’ locker rooms in an apparent attempt to sully his reputation.
Beathard disavowed the culture of cancellation that has plagued the United States in recent times and the excessive violent leftist movements that attempt to demonize Judeo-Christian culture and the basic values of Western culture.
He said, “I don’t like the way this has to be. I don’t like that you can’t have a different opinion than someone else. But I wouldn’t change [what I did]. I’m not going to deny Jesus. If you deny Jesus, he’ll deny you. It’s written in the Bible, multiple times. I’m not going to back down on that one. I think I have a message to share with players. I really do. I think I can be good for them. I can stand for Jesus in front of a group of players and not be ashamed.”
At the end of August, Beathard’s former colleague Larry Lyons, director of athletics, caused controversy among Redbirds – the athletic teams that represent Illinois State University – by telling students: ‘All Redbird lives matter’.
Some college athletes based at the Normal, Illinois center temporarily boycotted team meetings, workouts and practices as a result.
An Athletics March for Black Voices was held on September 4.
ISU announced in a Wednesday afternoon press release that Beathard was being replaced by Ghaali Muhammad-Lankford and C.J. Irvin, who would both serve as co-offensive coordinators.
Beathard returned to Illinois State in 2018 – his third stint with the program. He’s spent 15 years as a coordinator in the FCS. He played in the USFL and Arena Football League.