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Published On: Fri, Apr 13th, 2018

NFL star Burgess Owens shouted down by Hobart and William Smith College students: Uncle Tom speaking ‘against’ his ‘own people’

Former NFL star, Super Bowl champ and conservative commentator Burgess Owens was heckled and shouted down by Hobart and William Smith College students for allegedly speaking out “against” his “own people” at a lecture hosted by Young Americans for Freedom.

During the Q&A after Owens’ remarks, a student asked about police brutality and the school-to-prison pipeline, but the questioner then proceeded to ask him “what was your name again?”

“Burgess Owens,” he replied, to which the student commented that she “thought it was Tom,” in reference to Uncle Tom, before storming out of the auditorium while Owens quipped that “there goes our biggest problem.”

“The minute you start calling names, you’ve already stopped the debate,” he continued. “You’re not looking for answers. You’re looking for ways of insulting, and that’s not how Americans do it.”

Campus Reform best chronicled what happened next:

The next questioner proceeded to aggressively rip the microphone from the moderator’s hands, shouting at him while he attempted to hold on to it.

“I had the mic. You took the mic away from me. I’m talking. I’m asking a question,” the student complained as other demonstrators loudly backed him up.

He then proceeded to condemn Student Affairs for going “two-for-two” on bringing “xenophobic” people to campus who apparently speak against their own beliefs, saying that in addition to Owens, a Muslim woman came to campus and spoke “against her Islamic beliefs.”

When the moderator attempted to interrupt the student’s rant, the audience began shouting him down, with one woman screaming “let him finish!”

Burgess Owens

One attendee declared that “United States is an imperialist nation” and another attacked Owens for “playing a sport,” saying he “won the American lottery.”

Owens routinely speaks on leadership, especially within the black community, and the opportunities America can provide for young black men, touching on similar topics during his speeches.

YAF published on the details of the event, adding that “President Gregory Vincent said to us that he considers himself a “free speech purist” and agreed that our events should not be derailed by the crowd.

“However, he also suggested that our speakers were mere provocateurs and Young America’s Foundation is a manipulative institution.”

“My concern is that some of these speakers are not here to spread ideas, but to create controversy…My concern of a national organization driving a local agenda is just that…I just am concerned about the campus being used as a pawn.”

When asked about the derogatory racial language used against Owens, President Vincent responded, “Let me just be blunt. There are outliers who are very frustrated” but was sure to mention that, “You can share with anyone you have my support.”

Owens was a first round draft pick out of the University of Miami in 1973, playing with the New York Jets under the 1980 season, where he played for the Oakland Raiders, winning the Super Bowl with the Jim Plunkett led team.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are located on more than 170 acres in New York state’s Finger Lakes region in Geneva, New York.

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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