The Iowa football program is under the national microscope right now. In the midst of our nation's ongoing discussion on race and policing in the United States, the Iowa program is the lone college program in the crosshairs. Accusations of racist behavior. A coach suspended. Head coach Kirk Ferentz reaching out to former players. Now, the current Iowa football team has had their first meeting, and by all accounts, it was raw and emotional.

Sometimes I think that we look at athletes and don't think of them as actual people. They just wear the color and logo that we like and root for each Saturday or Sunday. But these are young men, from all different locations and backgrounds, coming together. Working and living together. Accomplishing common goals despite their differences. These are all reasons that we are drawn to sports in the first place. But give an athlete the freedom to speak his or her mind? We cast them aside and tell them to do things like "shut up and dribble."

The University of Iowa took away the Twitter ban this week. The Daily Iowan reports that Ferentz did so so that players could take part in the national discussion following the death of George Floyd. First, the tweets were going to have to be pre-approved. But that notion was soon dropped.

Below are some of the tweets from current Iowa football players. Many are raw and real. I encourage you to read them and support these young men as they lead us in this difficult conversation.