In August, Kurt Beathard — then-offensive coordinator for the Illinois State University football team — found a Black Lives Matter sign taped to his office door, Outkick‘s Jason King reported.
Given that the BLM organization has an affinity for Marxism and a dim view of the nuclear family, Beathard immediately removed the sign, the outlet said.
“‘I thought, ‘No, I can’t have this on my door,'” he told King. “So I took it off and put it behind the chair in my office. I was praying about it and I thought, ‘All lives matter here, and there’s no other organization other than Jesus Christ to sponsor that.'”
So later that day Beathard placed a new sign on his office door with a new message: “All Lives Matter to Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ,” the outlet said.
‘As a favor, could you please take that off your door?’
Given the volatility surrounding the BLM movement and the speed at which news travels, one might assume backlash against Beathard came fast — but it didn’t.
He told Outkick that his new sign remained on his office door for nearly two weeks before pushback came from one of his superiors.
“They didn’t demand it,” Beathard recalled to the outlet. “They just said, ‘As a favor, could you please take that off your door?’ I didn’t take it off right away. I sat there and prayed about it, and I said, ‘God knows where my heart is. That’s all that matters. If it will help to take it off, I’ll take it off.'”
But it was too late.
Beathard told Outkick that a few days before he was asked to remove his sign, a photo of it had been taken and circulated among players — and some of them were offended. And on Sept. 2, the school told Beathard he was no longer on the coaching staff, the outlet said, adding that ISU reassigned him.
‘I never quit. I did not quit that job.’
A number of news outlets reported that Beathard resigned from his position, including student paper the Vidette. But he told Outkick that was not the case: “I never quit. I did not quit that job.”
School officials last week told the Pantagraph they wouldn’t discuss what led to Beathard’s departure. And while three sources close to the football program told the Pantagraph that a Black Lives Matter poster had been taken down in the team’s locker room, Beathard said he wasn’t involved in removing posters in the locker room.
“That locker room crap is wrong,” he told the Pantagraph. “I took the sign down somebody put on my door. That’s it. I didn’t take anything off that wasn’t put on my door. I wrote the message.”
Besides his departure from the football team, it already has been an exceedingly difficult year for Beathard.
Outkick said Beathard’s wife, Karen, died of cancer over the summer and that his 22-year-old nephew, Clayton, was stabbed to death Dec. 22 outside a Nashville bar.
“I truly believe that all lives matter,” he told Outkick. “It’s right there in the Bible. God doesn’t discriminate. He doesn’t say, ‘Oh, I kinda like some of these people. But I really, really, really like these other people.’ I keep hearing about the abortion rates and the gun killings. I think about the stuff that I got angry about when my nephew was tragically murdered. His life mattered. My wife’s life mattered, too. She lived with cancer for five years. She mattered to me. It’s about every life.”
He also told the outlet that he doesn’t regret what he wrote on the sign.
“I don’t like the way this has to be,” Beathard noted to Outkick. “I don’t like that you can’t have a different opinion than someone else. But I wouldn’t change [what I did]. I’m not going to deny Jesus. If you deny Jesus, he’ll deny you. It’s written in the Bible, multiple times. I’m not going to back down on that one. … I think I have a message to share with players. I really do. I think I can be good for them. I can stand for Jesus in front of a group of players and not be ashamed.”