Monday, April 15, 2024

NAACP and DEI supporters urge Black athletes to steer clear of colleges in states with laws against diversity, equity, and inclusion

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Activists who support diversity, fairness, and including everyone are asking Black student athletes not to go to colleges in states that are against these ideas.

They’re speaking up because there have been 81 bills against diversity programs in colleges in 28 states and Congress since 2023. Eight of these bills have become laws, like in Texas and Florida.

After Florida stopped public colleges from using state money on diversity programs in January, the University of Florida changed a lot of things. They even closed the office of their Chief Diversity Officer to follow the new rule.

The NAACP wrote a letter to the President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) asking Black athletes to think twice about going to mostly White colleges in Florida. They said Black athletes are important for college sports and that Florida’s decision hurts them.

They also said that Black teachers are important for students.

The NAACP’s leader said that diversity is very important for good education. He said that big colleges need Black athletes and if they can’t support them, the athletes should go somewhere else.

Last May, Florida’s Governor stopped funding diversity programs at state colleges, saying they aren’t important for colleges. Texas’s Governor also made a similar law, which stopped some programs at the University of Texas-Austin.

The NAACP’s letter came after others told Black athletes to protest against Florida’s anti-diversity laws or go to colleges in states that support diversity.

Emmitt Smith, who went to the University of Florida and had a great career in football, said he was very unhappy with his old college for closing the diversity office.

He said that having different kinds of people makes the university better, and closing the diversity office was a bad move. He also said that minority athletes should speak out against this decision.

A professor from San Diego State University said it’s not fair for colleges to use Black athletes to win games but not support them in other ways. He said diversity programs are important for making sure every student feels welcome.

In Alabama, lawmakers might soon pass a law that stops public money from going to diversity programs in colleges and state offices.

The Mayor of Birmingham said he’s ready to help Black parents and athletes find colleges in other states that care about diversity.

He said athletes and parents have the power to choose colleges that treat everyone fairly. If colleges want talented athletes, they need to support fairness and diversity too. If not, athletes will go somewhere else where they feel welcome.

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