Nebraska's Michael Rose-Ivey receives racial backlash for anthem protest

Nebraska Cornhuskers linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey said he has received racially motivated backlash after he and two teammates knelt during the national anthem before Saturday's game at Northwestern.

In a statement to reporters Monday, Rose-Ivey said he had been called the N-word on social media and threatened. Linebacker Mohamed Barry and defensive end DaiShon Neal knelt alongside Rose-Ivey during the anthem at Northwestern's Ryan Field.

"Some believe DaiShon, Mohamed and myself should be kicked off the team or suspended, while some said we deserved to be lynched or shot like the other black people who have died recently," Rose-Ivey said before collecting himself. "Another believed that since we didn't want to stand for the anthem that we should be hung before the anthem at the next game."

In a statement posted later Monday on Twitter, Rose-Ivey wrote that he and his teammates were joining San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes in "standing together and using our various platforms to bring awareness about police brutality and the recent deaths of black men and women at the hands of police officers."

The Nebraska players informed the team of their intentions before the anthem and received support from coach Mike Riley and others. Rose-Ivey wrote that he and his teammates understood the implications of their actions but could not "turn a blind eye to injustice." He added that he's not anti-police or anti-American.

"We, as black athletes, cannot remain silent," Rose-Ivey wrote on Twitter. "... These issues are bigger than football. These issues are bigger than me. These issues are bigger than all of us because it impacts all of us, whether you believe it or not. We must have accountability, we must have understanding, we must have love, but we must also have genuine dialogue that finds genuine solutions and demands genuine actions."

Barry said Monday that he's received "way more positive" feedback from Husker fans than negative since the protest.