There could have been hesitancy for Boynton.
“The concern is what are your fans going to think?” he said. “I’m in Stillwater, Oklahoma, right? It’s not like we’re the most diverse place in the country. So people could be offended by me taking that step and maybe being too political.”
Choosing principle over popularity, Boynton wore the T-shirt on ESPN Big Monday. One quote and 98 names.
One nationally-televised statement endorsing diversity, opportunity and integrity.
“There was no pushback,” Boynton said Saturday. “In fact, most of the response was people asking if that shirt was for sale. And that it was pretty cool to do it.”
He did it again Friday night in front a bigger audience.
“We’re in the Big 12. We’re on Big Monday all the time,” Boynton said. “But the coach at Cleveland State, Dennis Gates, the coach at Loyola-Maryland, Tavaras Hardy, the coach at Saint Peter’s, Shaheen Holloway, no one knows who they are. And so when we talk about hiring, people have to know who you are and be exposed to you to have a shot.”
Ninety-eight African Americans out of 354 Division I coaches. Yes, people have to know.
This is what it means to be the voice and conscience of an athletic department, to be the coach that department can least afford to lose.
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