Tulane students and community members turned out in force on Friday evening (Sept. 14) to rally on behalf of injured student-athlete Devon Walker, many of them wearing identical white T-shirts emblazoned in dark green with Walker’s name and No. 18, his football jersey number.
At Friday’s Green Out for Devon rally, organized by the Undergraduate Student Government, fans wear No. 18 in support of Devon Walker, who remains in a Tulsa, Okla., hospital with a spinal injury. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
Speakers at the Green Out for Devon rally, held on the Lavin-Bernick Center Quad, kept a positive tone as the Tulane Marching Band, Shockwave Dance Team and cheerleaders led the crowd in the Hullabaloo cheer and Green Wave fight song.
A senior and starting safety on the Tulane football team, Walker sustained a cervical spine fracture on Sept. 8 in a game against the University of Tulsa. He remains hospitalized in Oklahoma.
Walker’s roommate and teammate, Jacob Davis, spoke at the rally, urging the group to stay positive. “I know Devon’s a fighter and has been fighting all his life,” said Davis, who plays wide receiver and is a senior. “He’ll be back.”
A common theme throughout the speeches was a testament to Walker’s strength and good humor.
The entire rally was filmed and will be sent to Walker and his family in Tulsa, Okla.
“When he watches this, he’s probably gonna laugh and wonder why he’s not out here DJ-ing,” said his teammate, Shakiel Smith. Walker is known for providing music for student events.
Tulane seniors Brad Girson and Jesse Schwartz spearheaded the opportunity to contribute to the Devon Walker Fund by printing the shirts; as of Friday’s rally, Girson and Schwartz estimated that 800 T-shirts had been sold so far, with all net proceeds going to the Devon Walker Fund
established by Tulane.
The shirts are available for $20 in the Tulane Bookstore and can also be purchased online
“Even though I don’t know Devon personally, and I know many of you don’t, as soon as you put that T-shirt on, you feel connected to him and his family,” said Michael Lamb, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Association.
Johanna Gretschel received a bachelor’s degree with an English major from Tulane in 2012, and she is in the master’s degree program.