Grambling State University students were in an uproar over the alleged mistreatment of GSU player, junior tight end Kalif Jackson, during the Grambling season opener football game at the University of Louisiana – Monroe on Aug. 31.
ULM player, junior defensive end Kerry Starks, was accused of spitting on Jackson and punching another player, redshirt sophomore defensive lineman David Moore, during the game.
However, there were no repercussions on the field at the time of the event.
The following day Jackson went to Twitter to post a video of the incident and vent about his frustration over the event.
“I am truly disturbed by some people’s actions, and the lack of punishment for those actions, last night,” Jackson said. “For a fellow person, regardless of whether we both play football or not, to spit in my face is unacceptable. For an official to see the behavior, as happened last night when a ULM player responded this way, was frustrating. Having played football at both FBS and FCS levels, this has never happened to me – until last night. While we are athletic competitors who play for our universities, we are also men who should treat each other with respect. I play this game and have loved it for a long time. I believe in playing with all of your heart and soul, but also with your conscience and mind. Disrespectful acts, like spitting, should not be part of this competitive experience. I hope that the appropriate parties take action, punish this misbehavior and admonish players so that people remember this sort of conduct should not be part of the game.”
Since the incident, JStarks was suspended from last week’s game versus Florida State by ULM head coach Matt Viator.
“Actions have consequences and that’s the main thing,” Viator told the Monroe News Star. “There are things that happen in a football game, but at least in my eyes, he crossed a line and we’ll care of that.”
Jackson, who showed self-control and remained level headed during the incident, said being spat on is one of the most disrespectful things that can be done to someone.
“To react swiftly and out of anger would cast a bad reflection on the school, myself, and my family. I had to take it on the chin,” Jackson said.
Jackson said Head Football Coach Broderick Fobbs and the coaching staff handled the situation perfectly.
Jackson says his concern was addressed swiftly and as far as punishment goes for the ULM player, he is just glad that the offense did not go unnoticed.
Jackson is originally from Jacksonville, Fla., and he obtained his BA in Political Science from the University of Florida, and is currently working towards his MPA.