Sports + Social Justice

Sports + Social Justice from Previous Weeks

Wildcats Committed to Off the Field Work

University of Arizona athletics announced a new initiative called the Stronger Together campaign, an effort focused on issues of social injustice.

When talking about the campaign that represents student athletes and preaches key messages of racism and equality — UA swimmer Eric Correa said: “Stronger Together means coming together as one group to complete a common goal or overcome adversity, our Arizona student-athletes have come together during these difficult times because everyone wants to get back to doing what they love—their sport! So, coming together as an athletics program has been a very beautiful thing to see, no matter what age, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality.”

The University also introduced the Arizona Edge Program that will permit student athletes to use their image, name and likeness for financial gain. This legislation is set to be approved by the NCAA in 2021.

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Obama Praises Athlete Voices

Former President Barack Obama expressed his pride in athletes using their voices to speak about social and racial injustice issues.

On an episode of Lebron James’ The Shop: Uninterrupted — Obama said: “To see this new generation without fear in speaking their mind, and their conscience, I think you guys are setting the tone for a lot of young people coming up and a lot of other athletes in other leagues. Because we saw what happened in Milwaukee and the NBA players did what they did, WNBA players, we started seeing soccer players, you start seeing NFL players doing stuff, baseball... you guys really showed leadership on this in a way that deserves a lot of credit and made me real proud."

Obama also noted that black athletes have a history of being advocates for social change and that there was a drop off of activism in sports for a while.

However, athletes have risen to the occasion and stepped up in recent years to use their platforms to speak about social issues such as police brutality and racial discrimination.

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Iowa State Makes Their Vote

Iowa State student athletes are all in to register their vote. The student - athlete advisory committee met on a Zoom call and of the 50 participants, all of them said they registered to vote.

When referring to the effort to get all Cyclone athletes to vote — committee president Lehr Thorson said: “The people that are coming to SAAC are bringing that information back to their team, and if we had everybody in a SAAC meeting registered to vote, that makes me really optimistic with the efforts of the student body population altogether.”

This was proven to be successful as the women’s and men’s basketball teams reported 100 percent registration by players. Increased discussion about social justice issues have become a priority for many college campuses, and Iowa State recognizes their need to bring change and awareness to make a difference.

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