“Najee stepped up, grabbed a megaphone and spread a message of togetherness with all his fellow students.”
On the campus of the University of Oklahoma, a contentious situation took an inspirational turn when a man yelling hateful rhetoric targeted nearby students and reportedly tried to “incite a riot.”
Not one to stand idly by as the situation escalated, Oklahoma Sooner running back Najee Bissoon took action in a very measured way – he started speaking, too.
The football player didn’t hesitate to grab a megaphone and began countering the hate speech with a message of unity and togetherness.
Fortunately, Andrew Clark, an editor for the student newspaper, OU Daily, was in attendance and caught the moving words on camera so that the message would reach an audience beyond just those in attendance.
Here’s a clip of the student-athlete in action:
"There's only one thing that can conquer hate, and that's f*cking love." https://t.co/9iTKSc7tNq— Andrew Clark (@Andrew Clark) 1479326957.0
Shortly thereafter, the man spouting rhetoric, realizing he had lost his audience, packed up and was escorted off by campus police.
In an interview with the school newspaper, Bissoon offered up a beautifully simple explanation of why he sprung to action in the face of the volatile situation:
"You've always got to be active. As long as you're sitting back and just watching, I feel like you're condoning what's going on. You're letting what's going on take place.
"I took action due to the fact that I saw everyone getting all riled up. I saw everyone getting all angry. I feel like, yeah they have a right to feel that way, but that energy everyone was feeling, if they channel that into the right things, everything will be better, like if we channel that energy into becoming one."
After making his speaking, Bissoon then led a prayer among those standing with him.
Praying. https://t.co/atRFfUGuFG— Andrew Clark (@Andrew Clark) 1479328618.0
Word of the Bissoon’s actions spread quickly, and the next morning OU football coach Bob Stoops tweeted out this letter of recognition from Steven J. Lee, an administrator for the school:
Thank you for sharing, Steven. Very proud of @najeebissoon & his leadership! #OUnited https://t.co/oMPjImJljv— Bob Stoops (@Bob Stoops) 1479395113.0
The letter reads:
“I wanted to let you know that I believe this campus was made better today by the actions of Najee Bissoon. I was asked by a supervisor to go to the south oval and help with a situation that had started to gain attention. When I arrived, I watched a hate speech spreading man start attacking our students and trying to incite a riot. While other students stood by an watched or joined in a shouting match with he man, Najee stepped up, grabbed a megaphone and spread a message of togetherness with all his fellow students. He stood next to the despicable man and counter-argued everything he tried to say with a calm and collected attitude. After Najee had showed that our campus would not be torn apart, the man decided to pack up and leave while being escorted by campus police.”
Moments before that the letter found its way online, Najee Bissoon offered a moving message via Twitter that serves as a perfect encapsulation of his act: