Thoughts from June, 2020
If you're the kind of person who reads online articles as you're doing now, then you're well aware of the current societal focus on an old, old problem. Racial injustice has been an issue in this country since before it was a country, but the relatively recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have shined new light on the disease. And for various reasons, it seems the world is paying attention in a way that is–like so many aspects of today–unprecedented.
I’ve been doing a lot more listening than talking on this issue over the past several weeks. After all, there is always more to learn. I am pleased to have been part of several conversations around the sports world regarding race and society, but I recognize I am no expert and that my status as a white male comes with a privilege that influences and in many ways diminishes my capacity to appreciate the issue in its fullness.
As such, I’ve been hesitant to say much, opting instead to elevate the voices of black Americans from the sports world and outside of it, on my social media and in my daily work. But I do think the time comes when it is important to speak. So let me say these words, directly and simply: Black Lives Matter.
Racial justice and equality will be truly great in the days when they are achieved. But that is not where we find ourselves now. Today our country faces not only the systemic reenforcement of racial bias in areas like criminal justice, health care and the voting system, but also sustained ignorance and outright denial on the part of so many of us who have benefited from those sustained inequities. It doesn't matter if you or I are "not racist." We are part of a much larger system.
So as for myself I will continue to read, listen, and learn. To harness the vulnerability that allows for difficult but necessary conversations. And to take action toward the achievement of true societal equality, while acknowledging how far we still have to go.