Two University Presidents Apologize for Their Comments on George Floyd Protests

The presidents of Bradley and Illinois Wesleyan universities have apologized for their comments on the protests that ensued after the death of George Floyd due to police brutality.

Illinois Wesleyan president Georgia Nugent and Bradley University president Stephen Standifird both appeared to blame the protests for the violence that broke out around the country.

Georgia NugentGeorgia Nugent

At Illinois Wesleyan, students were upset at what they said was Nugent’s neutral response to Floyd’s death and her comment on the “unfortunate incidents of looting and violence.” Following reports that sections of the campus community were upset, Nugent apologized, reported WGLT.

“I want to apologize, I understand, I truly understand that the statement made by the university didn’t go far enough and wasn’t clear enough,” she said.

Bradley University’s Standifird said in an initial statement that “at a time when we should be together to fight against a global pandemic, we are fighting each other instead.” The comment angered many students and alumni, who said Standifird’s response was tone-deaf, reported Peoria Public Radio.

Stephen StandifirdStephen Standifird

Standifird then issued another statement saying racial violence is the real issue.

“I want to be clear: Racism at Bradley is unacceptable, will not be tolerated and will be addressed,” he said. “Your stories demonstrate our past efforts in supporting Bradley’s Black students and the Black community were insufficient. We will do better.”