Did ISU’s Larry Lyons become a Social Justice Warrior?

By:  Diane Benjamin

H/t a reader

This is the same Larry Lyons who somehow got his son hired in the athletics department and then said son married a fellow employee – making three all related people working in the small  ISU athletics department.  No nepotism of course –  even when the wedding took place on the baseball field:  https://blnnews.com/2014/07/15/isu-how-do-they-get-by-with-this/

Yesterday good ole Larry decided to write a letter to his fellow Redbirds:  https://goredbirds.com/news/2020/8/3/general-amessage-from-larry-lyons.aspx

Dear Redbirds,

I write today, hoping that you and your families are staying safe and healthy.  The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing all of us to face unprecedented obstacles and navigate through previously unheard of challenges.  It is especially troubling that this international crisis comes at a time when national racial tensions seem at an all-time high.  I know many of you are hurting and are searching for answers to the almost incomprehensible violence that is shaking the very foundation of humanity. The horrific and preventable deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and so many others has led to protests and demonstrations sweeping our nation and is tearing at each and every one of us. Such violence has also provided a troubling backdrop to the politicized debate over flags, monuments, and other artifacts that are positioned as examples of American heritage but are in reality, symbols of slavery, racism, and intolerance.

As members of the Redbird community, I ask that you do your part to speak out and act out against injustices taking place in our community, state, and nation.  We’ve heard from many of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and alumni about what they are feeling and experiencing; we hear you and pledge to become more active participants on issues involving racism, anti-blackness, and other forms of systemic bigotry that go against our University’s core values of diversity and inclusion—under its strategic plan, Educate*Connect*Elevate.

It is during this difficult time that we need to come together, remain united, and support our friends, families and communities that are frustrated and hurting.  The Illinois State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is committed to fostering a culture and community that embraces diversity and inclusion for all.  It is our moral duty to utilize our platform to stand up against racial and social injustice.  We must unite to create meaningful and impactful change. We can make this a defining moment in our nation’s history and I have been encouraged by the way our student-athletes, coaches, and staff are speaking up and actively advocating for change.  I want our Redbird student-athletes, coaches, and staff to know that I support them for actively advocating for change and to continue speaking up and be a part of the conversation to dismantle racial and social injustice.

None of us has all the answers, but we will continue to seek them together. It is my job along with that of our leadership team to LISTEN and to create an action plan to be put into place.  I’ve asked that some within our leadership team be the driving forces behind our action plan, which has already been set into motion, and to come up with immediate, short term, and long term goals for our department regarding diversity and inclusion.

We have already been engaged in discussion and ongoing dialogue with our students-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni and community/civic leaders.  With their voices, we will be inspired and motivated to create an impactful plan moving forward. These plans will be thoughtful, thorough, aspirational, and sustainable.

Join us Redbirds, as we all look at what we can do individually and as a collective to bring the change that is necessary for the justice of all.

Black Lives Matter.


Larry Lyons

Social Justice Warrior (or panderer) Lyons never mentions all the police killed in the line of duty.  He never mentions all the blacks killing blacks in democrat controlled cities.  He sounds more like a guy who thinks the police are hunting blacks.

Does Larry know “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” never happened and he is lamenting the death of a guy who tried to take an officer’s gun and probably would have killed him with it?

Any death is tragic especially when simply complying with the police would have prevented many good ole Larry mentioned.  Does he ever tell that to his athletes?  What kind of “action plan” changes feelings?  Why are lots of minorities wildly successful?  Maybe the “Action Plan” should include education on how not to assume every micro-aggression is caused by race.  Maybe add a course in judging people by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin.  Of course ISU would have to quit paying race baiters to speak at their MLK events.

Larry Lyons need to resign.  This is a despicable display of playing every side of issues.  I am part of the Redbird community because I graduated from ISU.  Lyons is contributing to a racial divide instead of stating facts.  We aren’t #StrongerTogether, Lyons version of diversity does exactly what it is intended to do:  DIVIDE.

With comments like this I hope Lyons never needs to call 911.  Why would the police show up?

7 thoughts on “Did ISU’s Larry Lyons become a Social Justice Warrior?

  1. Diane, this is too long for a comment, but this post took me back to the following post from my blog, last May.

    Our students are just being used!

    Feel free to print or post any or none of what follows. Deb (lovestoriesandlife.com)

    ALLOW ME AN OPINION May 20, 2019 1 Comment

    Today I was reading a commentary by Aaron Haviland titled “I Thought I Could be a Christian and Constitutionalist at Yale Law School. I Was Wrong”

    He was commenting on the uproar instigated by inviting a lawyer from Alliance Defending Freedom [ADF] to speak on campus discussing *Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission*.

    Let me preface my writing by qualifying that I AM NOT a college graduate. And I AM a conservative. I AM, also, almost 70 years old and feel entitled to my own opinion. I think of myself as fair, not entirely acquainted with every current event, but certainly “aware” of many unfortunate things that transpire in our current world of politics, education and division among the citizens of our country.

    I see division and deceit as today’s norm and I do not think this was normal in the past. We have devolved to this point when we should be striving for evolution, the supposed growth and improvement direction.

    Back to my thoughts. If a law school is having a guest lawyer appear to lecture or speak, it would be my opinion that all students would benefit from hearing him/her. Law should be Law and Yale is educating the future of our legal system. It works when both sides are heard and informed decisions are made.

    However, the outcry, over this speaker, was tremendous and by these university acknowledged groups among others:

    LGBTQ – Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans

    APALSA – Asian Pacific American Law Students Assoc

    BLSA – Black Law Students Assoc

    SALSA – South Asian Law Students Assoc

    LLSA – Latinx Law Students Assoc

    MLSA – Muslim Law Students Assoc

    MENALSA – Middle Eastern and North African Law Students Assoc

    JLSA – Jewish Law Students Assoc

    NALSA – Native American Law Students Assoc

    Yale Law Women

    Yale Law Student Alliance for Reproductive Justice

    Women of Color Collective

    American Constitution Society

    Yale Law Democrats

    First Generation Professionals

    These 15 groups [how many more might there be at Yale?] were protesting a single guest speaker, [regarding a current legal case] at a prestigious expensive university. REALLY?

    Given all these groups, how can we not be inciting division and confrontation among the students? I can’t begin to imagine why these groups have been allowed to grow and flourish. Of course, there isn’t one group labeled as ‘white’ anything, because we have all been conditioned to regard THAT delineation as racist. How are groups of African, Color, Indian, Asian, Jewish, etc, not racist? Simple – someone has allowed this division to be authentic and inclusion to be problematic.

    When we allow and encourage this division and sorting by color or tribe or ethnicity, we are promoting racism where we should be promoting diversity of thought by a common group. If you come to the USA for an education, you should be getting indoctrinated in the commonality of all human beings, promoting the laws and statutes of the USA. The only divergence allowed should be the interpretation of right and wrong. We should only be promoting the ability to think and reason and debate, without regard to color, ethnicity or personal attributes.

    Our universities are creating the socialist agenda by inciting. Our universities are creating racism by allowing and encouraging endless groups of diversity. Our universities are no longer for educating and producing thinking individuals. Our universities are actually inciting a specific plan of attack on our national attributes long held in trust.

    Why are we paying for this? Why are we putting our precious young minds into this cesspool of waste? Who will pay the ultimate price for our lack of concern? Who is guarding our gates to the future? It certainly is not the parents of these students. It is certainly not the university boards and decision makers. We seem to think our high school graduates are no longer educated enough to be out in the world without that college diploma, but we have even less regard for the education process in their last four years than we did in the previous 12 or 13 years. We have parents who attack school boards and administrations over any infringement they perceive to their student at age 6 or 10 or 14, but no interest what so ever at the indoctrination of their 19 year old?

    Parents, if you send a smart, worthy, high school graduate off to Yale, just what are you expecting to get for your money? Were you expecting that student to only assimilate with his race/creed/color/sexuality/ethnicity and their priorities, or were you hoping for a student who can function in a world that identifies everyone as thinking, educated and fair in their treatment of others? My guess is you don’t really give a rat’s ass what you get for your money as long as the name on the diploma is spelled correctly.

    And that is why I think the idea of a college education is no longer the attribute it once was. We just aren’t proving ourselves worthy of safeguarding our kid’s futures, when it takes a bit of work, worry and real concern on our parts. We seem to have too much on our plates to follow through. It’s much easier to pay the big bucks and expect someone else to see to our kids and let me tell you, there are plenty out there more than willing to incite, lie, promote and indoctrinate young minds into their ways.

    You can call them professors, instructors, community organizers, campus posers, university administrators, etc.; just don’t call them to care about your student, past the influx of fees and dollars you spend. THEY HAVE AN AGENDA which includes using your child.

    We have to invest more time and attention to the universities that actually teach and build thinking and learned students. We have to spend far less time and money in the universities that condone and encourage division and student unrest at the expense of a real education.

    Our children’s future, our country’s future, rests on parenting with more integrity and regard. The education world, here, has changed, but it has not evolved. We can no longer be complacent.

  2. Well written, totally agree. Wasn’t aware of the Larry’s family ties to redbird athletics. Larry like so many of today’s panderers doesn’t want to confuse himself with facts. Guess Larry didn’t read that a black St Louis county prosecutor recently determined that the Ferguson shooting was a legal one. Nor did he mention that the Tribune says there have been 2,249 shootings in Chicago this year including the murder of a 9 year old boy last weekend. Larry and blm should focus their efforts there instead calling out our Police. Larry Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter.

  3. One has to understand that Dietz, Lyons and the men’s basketball coach are all joined at the hip. The cover for each other’s incompetence and failures. After Dietz caved in the Watterson debacle, he likely strongly urged Lyons to do something similar to show unity or Lyons volunteered to write such a letter to the athletes to again pander to the black athletes on scholarship so they aren’t attempted to leave. Athletic Departments around the country are scared shitless of what Covid is doing to their bottom lines. At ISU, basketball has always rang the cash register much more than football and is the department’s “identity program.” Lyons’ support for Dan Muller has painted him and Dietz in a corner. As basketball continues to.lose fans and support and ergo money, it is important for the trio to paint a united front that prevents the collapse of the entire program. It is a pivotable year for men’s basketball to have a good year. Any defections by key players spell doom that may be doomed anyway under normal circumstances. What you are witnessing is a groupthink mentality to save face for ISU on many fronts. They all know their jobs and personal reputations are all on the the line. What you see are the actions of desperate people.

  4. I do NOT know about EVERYONE else, but I for ONE, am VERY TIRED of the media beating this covid virus crap into powered granite! Terms such as ” Uncertain times”, social distancing, Hazardous outdoors, safe sanitation, and other such BS items that the media has come up with, just to scare the LIVING HELL out of all the “chicken littles” that are among us has just plain gotten OLD!! And the politicians, ESPECIALLY democrats just keep expounding on this “preventative measures” bullcrap to the point that I”m DEAF to it.
    Kind of liked the news this eve, as there was REAL content! 2,700 TONS of Ammonium Nitrate stored illegally in Lebanon blew up and decimated the place. WHAT did they expect. Did we NOT learn from Port Arthur , Texas or even Oklahoma City? It’s a compound that’s HIGHLY explosive and especially if NOT stored properly..
    KInd of like saying “Don’t smoke in a powder works”!
    I hope Lebanon starts ENFORCING the laws they HAVE in place to prevent this kind of OOOPS!
    As for covid, hopefully, it along WITH the Democrats will go AWAY in November!

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