Virginia NAACP Extremely Concerned About Recent Events At Bluefield College

RICHMOND (February 11, 2021) – Virginia State Conference NAACP President Robert N. Barnette, Jr. issued the following statement today in response to the today's statement issued by Bluefield College President Dr. David Olive:

“The Virginia NAACP is extremely concerned about the recent actions of Bluefield College that appear to suppress the nonviolent, silent protests of its student-athletes. Rather than supporting their Black players, Bluefield College chose to punish them in an attempt to silence their valid concerns.
The Virginia NAACP is actively monitoring the situation.”

Community Impact

As soon as the news on the situation at the Bluefield College became public, a series of local businesses reacted. The local community expressed their public support for the students. Legal and financial institutions have submitted several requests with local authorities. Private practices, credit unions, banks, as well as lending businesses demanded to consider the students' rights and address their concerns.

Virginia National Bank came forward with a public statement. Tara Y. Harrison, the Chief Financial Officer, stated that the issue became a matter of public concern. She pointed out that a civil society must promote equal rights and it is everybody's direct obligation to ensure equal rights. Several financial institutions supported Harrison's statement. They declared that they never discriminated against their consumers or deliberately denied loan requests from certain groups. Freedom First Credit Union joined in by publicly declaring how appalled and ashamed they are of the decision taken by the authorities of Bluefield College.

“As a financial institution, we take the civil responsibility to treat everybody equally. I am confident that any business in the financial sector treats their customers without bias. A financial emergency knows no race, color, ethnicity. We do our best to help or refer applicants to other services that will benefit them. We prioritize the borrowers' interests within the limits of our possibilities. And we demand educational institutions to treat the members of our community with respect. When you come to us for help, we are there for you. All we ask is for you to pay it forward. The community is ready to start massive protests if the students' issue is not addressed and their punishment lifted.”
Chief banking officer Shon Aguero

The legal representatives from local private practices said they were ready to step in and defend the students' rights should it be necessary. Fortunately, the college board reacted promptly by lifting the penalties. A public apology was issued on behalf of the educational institution. The students thanked the representatives of the legal and lending industry for their support.