An ex-Latter-day Saint BYU fan wondered if there was still room for him. Tom Holmoe, Steve Young and others answered
Prominent members of Cougar Nation have shared support for a former member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is still cheering for BYU
Twitter user @OchoZaco describes himself as “not your traditional BYU fan.” And in a recent tweet, he made it clear what he means.
“I’m gonna be vulnerable. I love BYU! I got my degree there. I met my wife there. Despite us being ex-LDS now, we cherish our time at BYU. And we are still HUGE fans of @BYUfootball. Hope there’s still room in this crowd for people like us,” he said on July 27.
In the days since it was posted, Zac’s message has caught the attention of some of Cougar Nation’s biggest stars. Prominent BYU leaders and alums, including current athletic director Tom Holmoe and Hall-of-Fame quarterback Steve Young, have said there’s room in BYU fandom for those who are not affiliated with or active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Cougar Nation — we gotta take care of each other. One team. One heartbeat. ... (Love) that you need us Zac. We (love) & NEED you ALL too,” tweeted Holmoe.
“We are forever a family,” said Young in response.
Current and former BYU football players also weighed in, sharing their support for fans like Zac.
“We want you all regardless of beliefs, color, size, shape, etc.,” tweeted Jackson Kaufusi, a Latter-day Saint and outside linebacker for BYU.
“We cherish you too! We share a great love for BYU,” said Chad Lewis, who played for BYU and in the NFL before joining Holmoe’s staff.
The official BYU alumni Twitter account’s response was short and sweet. It said, “We love our BYU Alumni! #GoCougs.”
“If you ever feel unwelcome at BYU, we are doing something wrong. Thank you for sharing. Hope to see you at a game this fall,” tweeted Tyson Hutchins, who worked for BYU Athletics while in college and recently joined the staff full time.
Altogether, Zac’s confessional tweet has received hundreds of responses in the past two days, and most of them were positive. BYU fans of all stripes spoke up to show that Cougar Nation is more diverse than people might assume.
“Wow! This blew up. Apparently there are lots of people who share this sentiment, and it’s clear that there’s room for us all. Super proud of Cougar Nation!” Zac said in a follow-up to his original tweet.