UAB’s Derek Slaughter wears helmet to graduation, snubs school president
A football player who used to play for UAB before the program was dropped made a very public display of his disapproval at graduation on Saturday.
Linebacker Derek Slaughter brought his football helmet and carried it with him as he walked across the stage. His classmates and those in attendance gave him a loud ovation.
— Sam Curtis (@SamCurtis_36) April 25, 2015
Slaughter also chose not to shake UAB president Ray Watts’ hand. If you remember, several UAB players unloaded on Watts during a meeting on campus shortly after it was announced that the football program would be shut down. Slaughter tweeted about his brief interaction with Watts and later deleted it, but not before College Spun was able to preserve it.
“No i did not shake his hand,” he wrote. “I told him I wanted it back and what it meant to me and all he said was I know I know. #freeUAB.”
Slaughter said he chose to carry his helmet to show his passion for the game of football and pride in his school.
I did this today to convey my love and passion for the game of football. I wanted to show my pride in the school as well as UAB footballteam
— Derek Slaughter (@dslaughter33) April 25, 2015
UAB players were devastated after learning that their program would no longer be supported by the university, and some of them broke into tears. You can understand why. Slaughter’s statement on Saturday was a further reminder of how hard this past year was on the team.
Photo: Twitter/Derek Slaughter