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Welcome to Part 2 of our 4-part Moving Forward mini series analysing social justice through the eyes of ten young, diverse aspiring sports professionals, I’m your host, Brian Clapp from WorkinSports.com.
The sports industry has long been our nations main source of entertainment. Look no further than the most popular tv series of 2019-2020.
- Sunday Night Football
- Thursday Night Football
- Monday Night Football
- The Masked Singer
- The Last Dance
Ahead of the bachelor, survivor, american idol, grey’s anatomy, this is us and a bevy of other highly dicsussed shows.
If you look at the most popular individual TV shows – 19 out of the top 25 most watched shows of 2019 were sports. And not just football. The World Series, The NBA finals, The College Football Championship, the NCAA Men’s basketball championships.
With that in mind, you would hope and imagine that the industry itself would be representative of the stars in the games that have become so popular. It is not.
For example, more than 45% of college football players are black, but black men only represent 9% of athletic directors and 8% of head coaches.
We can play these numbers out down the line in all facets of the sports industry – women’s sports, men’s sports, college, pro, media companies, leagues.
The disparity is real, and tangible.
Progress only comes when the majority aims to help, support and advocate for the minority. If the majority persists as if the norm they are living in is what they want to see continue, things will never change.
But, if a large enough group of allies from the majority are mobilizd and activated for change, they can hold the power and the key to stimulate positive change.
As award-winning diversity, equity and inclusion leader Sheree Atcheson wrote in Forbes,
- a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals and/or groups of people.
- not self-defined—work and efforts must be recognized by those you are seeking to ally with.
- an opportunity to grow and learn about ourselves, whilst building confidence in others.
This is an important step for all listeners, to understand what minority groups, whether it be women, LGBTQ, or People of color – need, and how they need it.
To be an ally, requires an ability to listen, support, self-reflect & change. Something all of us can and should do.
The Work in Sports podcast Moving Forward is a 4-part discussion with 10 young, diverse, aspiring sports professionals sharing the issues that confront them every day as they attempt to embark on their sports careers and change the world.
In this episode, we will be diving into allyship and the steps we can all take to create an inclusive environment in sports — to help us in this discussion I’m joined by Destiny “DJ” Jones and Alex Rodriguez.
Listen in with an open heart and mind.