Stanford Athletics expresses Solidarity with Black Student-Athletes, BLM

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[Stanford Athletics]
Brian Risso: “Stanford Athletics is committed to fostering an inclusive environment that promotes sustained and lasting racial equity and reform while providing guidance, education and resources to all members of its community.”
Photo: YouTube

The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked nationwide protests and a conversation on systemic racism and police violence that began in the spring and has persisted months after.

Inside Stanford Athletics, teams collaborated on solidarity statements, started conversations on diversity and inclusion in college sports, and worked to make spaces to elevate Black athletes’ voices.

Coaches and directors also expressed their support for Black Lives Matter and the student athletes themselves in emails to the players.

Following these deaths, Junior swimmer Jack Levant reported he received emails from his head coach Dan Schemmel and weight coach Anthony Tran communicating their support for him and the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as expressing their willingness to listen to any perspectives Levant could offer on necessary change within the program.

While it was appreciated, Levant found that receiving the messages felt bittersweet.

“The only real negative in my eyes is that it took until now for me to get messages like that,” Levant said. Like Levant, men’s basketball’s junior guard, Bryce Wills, has received emails from the athletics department saying “they are in or with us on our side of the fight.”

“Stanford Athletics is committed to fostering an inclusive environment that promotes sustained and lasting racial equity and reform while providing guidance, education and resources to all members of its community,” Assistant Athletics Director Brian Risso wrote in a statement on behalf of Stanford Athletics.

Risso also reported that the athletic department, including its director Bernard Muir, is regularly meeting with CardinalBLCK, a student athlete group founded in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement by senior gymnast Kyla Bryant and women’s basketball senior Maya Dodson. CardinalBLCK aims to create a community for the Black student athletes at Stanford. According to Bryant, Stanford Athletics supported them in starting CardinalBLCK and has continued to support the group.

Read the rest of the Stanford Daily story here: https://www.stanforddaily.com/2020/08/06/stanford-athletics-expresses-so...

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