Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

NAACP calls Black student-athletes to boycott Florida public colleges over anti-DEI policy

By 37ci3 Mar11,2024



The head of the NAACP is urging Black student-athletes to reconsider their decision to attend Florida’s public colleges and universities, protesting a new state policy that bars those institutions from using government funds for diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

In a letter sent to current and prospective student-athletes by the National Collegiate Athletic Association on Monday, NAACP leader Derrick Johnson asked that they “choose wisely” about black college-bound athletes.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are critical to ensuring equitable and effective educational outcomes,” Johnson said in a statement accompanying the letter, first reported by NBC News. “The value that black and other college athletes bring to major universities is unparalleled.”

“If these institutions can’t fully invest in those athletes, it’s time to take their talents elsewhere,” said Johnson, president and CEO of the civil rights organization.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last year signed the bill It prohibits public colleges and universities from using state and federal funds in programs commonly grouped under the DEI acronym.

Johnson’s letter was sent 10 days after the University of Florida Removed all diversity, equity and inclusion positions as per state rule – an action criticized Emmitt Smith, an alumnus of the NFL Hall of Fame X said Minority athletes there need to be “informed and vocal about this decision.”

In recent years, Republican politicians, conservative activists, and right-wing social media influencers have spoken out against DEI programs and a range of sociopolitical ideas they describe as “wokeness.” Proponents of DEI in education have argued that such efforts are essential to making schools more racially and socially inclusive.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed legislation last year mandating DEI offices at all state-funded colleges and universities. turn off. In the current legislative session, GOP lawmakers in more than 30 states have introduced or passed more than 100 bills to limit or regulate DEI efforts, According to an analysis by NBC News.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama. said on the social network last month If his state were to pass a bill preventing DEI funding at public colleges, he would encourage student-athletes to seek programs in other states.

Florida is a major player in Division I athletics. The University of Florida, Florida State University and the University of South Florida are home to the nation’s most prominent football and basketball programs.

Florida college athletics is also big business. For example, the University of Florida sports teams generated more than $177 million in revenue for the year from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022. According to data compiled by the US Department of Education.

NAACP leader Johnson said in a letter to student-athletes that he recognizes that not all black student-athletes have the financial freedom to participate in the boycott of the Florida public school system.

“While it is our duty to spread awareness and encourage action around these horrific attacks, we also recognize that protest can be costly,” Johnson said. “The sad reality is that for many black student-athletes, collegiate sports may be their only opportunity to achieve the mobility they need to advance to their rightful place in society.”

“This imbalance of power and profit demands a response,” Johnson said, “especially because these institutions reap significant financial benefits from those who do not side with them on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. If any institution wants to benefit from Black talent, they must fully invest in Black futures.” it is correct to put it”.

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By 37ci3

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