13 former football players sue Iowa, alleging racial discrimination

Hawkeye Headquarters

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz questions a call against his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Northwestern, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

A lawyer for 13 Black former Iowa football players says that he has filed a lawsuit alleging his clients suffered racial discrimination under longtime coach Kirk Ferentz.

The plaintiffs, including former star running back Akrum Wadley and all-time receptions leader Kevonte Martin-Manley, allegedly suffered “serious and pervasive discriminatory treatment and harassment,” according to their attorney.

The plaintiffs allege they were demeaned with racial slurs, forced to abandon Black hairstyles, fashion and culture to fit the “Iowa Way” promoted by Ferentz, and retaliated against for speaking out.

Iowa has previously rejected their demands for personnel changes and millions in compensatory damages.

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