McFeely blog: Trey Lance's cleats display 'BLM' and names of African-Americans killed by police

Bison's highly-rated quarterback using lone game this season to highlight Black Lives Matter, Breonna Taylor and others

Trey cleat 3.jpg
North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance is using his cleats to make a case for social justice. Photo from Trey Lance's Twitter account

FARGO — North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance is on the national stage today and it appears he intends to use it to highlight social justice.

The redshirt sophomore, who is attracting at least two dozen NFL scouts to the Fargodome for the Bison's game against Central Arkansas, posted photos of his cleats to Twitter on Friday. They are adorned with social justice slogans like "#Say Her Name" and "#Say His Name. Lance also wrote "BLM" on the shoes, abbreviation for Black Lives Matter.

Also written on the cleats is "204." That is the number of days it's been since Louisville police shot and killed Breona Taylor in her apartment while executing a search warrant. The police involved in the shooting were not charged for the killing.

The shows also exhibit the names of African-Americans killed by police, including Taylor, George Floyd, Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin.


"Tomorrow," Lance wrote in this tweet, indicating he'll wear the shows against Central Arkansas. "204 Days since the death of Breona Taylor."

Lance is expected to declare for the NFL Draft sometime before January, eschewing his last three seasons at NDSU. Most draft experts have him being a top-10 pick in the 2021 draft.

The Marshall, Minn., native had a tremendous redshirt freshman season with the Bison, leading the team to a Football Championship Subdivision national title while throwing 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He was named the national freshman of the year and the best offensive player in the subdivision.

But Lance has made clear since the death of Floyd at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer and the ensuing protests that he is highly focused on the cause of social justice. He marched in a peaceful protest in Fargo in May and during a recent Zoom press conference with local media said he spent much of the summer talking about issues with teammates and others in the Fargo-Moorhead community.

"It's not about the flag. I think just educating ourselves, understanding why people are upset, and why we as athletes are using our platform to speak out," Lance said.

On the back of Lance's shoes, he wrote the number "7." That was the uniform number worn by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who kneeled during the national anthem four years ago to protest police brutality and has since been blackballed from the NFL.

Kaepernick is now an activist, advocating for social justice.


The cleats Lance displayed on social media were Nikes, the same brand Kaepernick represents.

Readers can reach Forum columnist Mike McFeely at or (701) 451-5655

Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while he was a student studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He's been with The Forum full time since 1990, minus a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk-show.
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