Published 10:30 p.m. CT June 6, 2020 | Updated 10:39 a.m. CT June 7, 2020
Kinnick Stadium was vandalized Saturday as protesters marched through Iowa City as part of a recent string of protests nationwide in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek posted a photo on Facebook of several people gathered around the statue of former Hawkeye legend Nile Kinnick outside the stadium.
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“So very sad tonight,” Pulkrabek said in the Facebook post. “Vandalizing the U of I hospital and Kinnick stadium. And now spray painting the statue of Nile Kinnick.”
Protesters turned left onto Sunset Street from Melrose as law enforcement blocked traffic in front of University Heights Police Station pic.twitter.com/I7WRrxdW1G
— Hillary Ojeda (@hillarymojeda) June 7, 2020
Several people went to see the statue after hearing reports of what happened. At least three people brought supplies and started cleaning off the paint.
Tasia Lange and Payton Cannon, who watched as three people cleaned, said they are supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement and have been out protesting in Iowa City.
“But this is not the way,” said Lange, about the spray-painted statue and walls of the stadium.
“We want to get our voices heard,” she said. “And they’re going to hear it and see it in the ways that they shouldn’t be seeing it.”
Lange and Cannon said they just graduated from the University of Northern Iowa. Lange hopes to move to Iowa City and Cannon said she was born and raised here.
“This is home. To see this all over my home that I’m usually pretty proud of is really sad,” said Cannon. “I understand the movement too. We’ve been out protesting, in a peaceful way.”
Reach Hillary Ojeda at 319-339-7345, [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @hillarymojeda.
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