BATON ROUGE, La. – Black college athletes are in a difficult situation: watching protests across the country against racial injustice and being unable to play their sports because of a global pandemic. Head coaches at Southern University are doing their part to help players in these uncertain times.
“We had a great Zoom call. Try to let everybody really voice their opinions. How do these rioting and things like that; how’s that affecting them, just so they can get it off their chest and just say things they normally wouldn’t be able to say to other people,” Southern men’s basketball coach Sean Woods said.
The coaches on the Bluff aren’t just lending an ear to their players but offering them perspective as well, encouraging the athletes in gold and blue to go out and make a difference.
“Not wanting them to necessarily get so caught up in the socialization of it with regards to putting everything on Twitter and Instagram and all those kind of things, but really, really being agents of change and making sure that they’re doing their part to go out and put us in a position to make some of those things happen that need to happen,” Jags head baseball coach Kerrick Jackson added.
As leaders of their sports programs at an HBCU, the Jaguar coaches want the same thing African Americans have always wanted.
“We want equal rights. That’s everybody here in this country. You don’t want anything special. You just want to be treated equally. That’s that goal that we strive for every day. From getting an education to being able to go out and earn a job, just being a productive member of society. I talk to them about that all the time,” Southern women’s head coach Carlos Funchess furthered.
Southern is still waiting to bring their players back on campus. The Jaguars’ fall sports season is still unknown. The SWAC is expected to vote on the fall activities Monday, July 20th.
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