Tuesday, 21 March 2023

NCAA Womens Volleyball

Fighting Hate In Sports – University of Maryland Athletics

Fighting Hate In Sports - University of Maryland Athletics

Another major aspect of recent hate in sports has grown out of the notion that athletes are there for entertainment and, thus, should not speak on social and political issues and just play their respective sport.

Senior track standout Maxwell Myers has experienced people, including fellow students, looking down at him because of the perceived privileges that come with being a Power Five athlete. 

“A lot of the time people will look at athletes and assume we’re just getting everything for free and that we only got into the university because of athletics and that we aren’t actually smart,” Myers said. “Especially me being a computer science major, I see that a lot where people doubt my intelligence.” 

What people can sometimes fail to recognize, however, is that—behind the touchdowns and three-pointers, lies a real person with their own unique experiences and identities. 

“Nobody is just one aspect of their identity,” Taylor said. “Every athlete carries with them their hopes, their dreams, their fears, their traumas, their lived experiences. I think the folks that try to discourage athlete activism are also trying to segregate a person’s lived experience from their athletic experience. But at the end of the day, those two things will always be connected.”

And for today’s generation of socially-conscious athletes, the shut up and dribble concept is certainly not going to fly. 

“I am an athlete, that’s how I got here, that’s what I’m supposed to do,” Jones said. “But at the same time, because I’ve worked so hard to be an athlete at this level, I’ve created a platform for myself. And I’m going to continue to use that platform to push for change and push for what I know is right.”

In the new world of NIL and athlete empowerment, that platform has even more power—and that’s scary to some people.

“I think it’s pretty cool, especially given the fact that companies can now stand with student-athletes and endorse what they have to say,” Myers said of increased student-athlete activism. “You could always say whatever you wanted on social media, but now having the NIL piece makes your platform way bigger and allows you to reach more people which is really powerful.”

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