An Oklahoma State University football player has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a George Floyd protest in Tulsa, highlighting the reality that social distancing has been totally disregarded in recent weeks and potentially complicating the return of college football teams to campus, The Hill reported.
The player, senior linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga, announced the positive test result on Twitter and warned others to be careful when participating in large protests.
“After attending a protest in Tulsa AND being well protective of myself, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” he wrote. “Please, if you are going to protest, take care of yourself and stay safe.”
Ogbongbemiga has been moved to isolated student housing for quarantine.
An Oklahoma State athletics official confirmed that three people in the athletics department tested positive. The Oklahoman reported that they were all football players who did not display symptoms of the disease.
“For the record: @OSUAthletics has tested over 150 staff/admins/student-athletes with 3 asymptomatic positives. All by SAs,” associate athletic director Kevin Klintworth tweeted. “Positives were expected and the plan for that scenario has been activated. We will be as forthcoming as possible on the covid issues”
As a result of these positive tests, the expected move-in for freshman players has been delayed. OSU was one of the schools bringing football players back as normal for summer workouts. Other schools, such as the University of Oklahoma, are delaying the start of summer workouts until July.
OU head coach Lincoln Riley called the idea of bringing players back to campus on Monday “ridiculous” and advocated for starting as late as feasibly possible.
“In my opinion, we need to bring them in as late as we possibly can before we play a season,” Riley said, according to Sports Illustrated. “Every day that we bring them in is a day we could have gotten better. It’s a day we could’ve learned more about the virus. It’s a day PPE maybe gets better. It’s a day closer to vaccine. It’s a day that our testing equipment and testing capabilities get better, and it’s just not worth it. So we’ve got to be patient. We get one shot at this, and we’ve got to do it right.”