Cal Basketball

Cal Bears Stand United For Racial Justice

June 7, 2020
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In response to the tragic death of George Floyd, an African-American male who was killed after being detained by four police officers, millions of Americans have voiced outrage and demanded change from our country’s citizens and leaders. 

While many professional leagues and sports figures have drawn criticism for not showing direct support, Cal coaches and athletes have not been silent. Across the spectrum of former and current athletes, coaches, and administrators, many Cal Bears have engaged in initiatives and issued statements that demand change against anti-black racism. 

Helping lead protests in his hometown of Atlanta, Jaylen Brown has been at the forefront of the George Floyd protests. Demanding change through a megaphone, Brown told fellow protestors “First and foremost, I'm a black man and I'm a member of this community," stating further that "we're raising awareness for some of the injustices that we've been seeing." 

Brown is not only an upcoming star for a young, talented Boston Celtics team but also the vice president of the National Basketball Player’s Association (NBPA), demonstrating the credibility of his presence as a representative of the sports community. 

Cal Football curated a thoughtful, provocative video compilation to show the emotions and opinions of many players on the team. In the video, star players including Kuony Deng, Chase Garbers, and Camryn Bynum expressed anger, sadness, as well as support for the George Floyd protests against racial injustice. The Cal football team pinned the video on their Twitter account and posted it on Instagram. 

Another household name Golden Bear, Aaron Rodgers stated on Wednesday that he is in solidarity with the George Floyd protests. On his Instagram account, Rodgers issued a photo of himself locking arms with African-American teammates during the playing of the National Anthem, telling his followers: “Listen with an open heart, let’s educate ourselves, and then turn word and thought into action.” 

The future NFL Hall of Famer stated further that “It has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag. Not then. Not now.” It is clear that his statement was in response to quarterback Drew Brees, who had made a highly scrutinized comment just hours before. With reference to players kneeling during the national anthem, Brees said in an interview that he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.” 

It has not only been players who have demanded change but also coaches and members of Cal’s sports administration. Head football coach Justin Wilcox released a statement early on May 30, stating that racially-charged violence cannot persist. The Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton also spoke up, calling for an end to discrimination and racism. 

To the surprise of few, Marshawn Lynch has also been involved, showing support for the movement outside his former high school Oakland Tech and scrutiny for violent retaliation by the police thereafter. Beast Mode released a video on Facebook asking police why they felt the need to spray tear gas on protestors, asking them if they would do the same if it were their own family members. 

Cal women’s basketball head coach Charmin Smith has also been an outspoken advocate for racial justice.

UC Berkeley has been known to demonstrate abundant support for civil rights movements since the 60s, and it is special to see the university continue to scrutinize discrimination and racism. While many have remained silent, Cal has remained a beacon for change and diversity. It is with great pride that we are able to be part of a school that is fiercely involved in the community. 

Discussion from...

Cal Bears Stand United For Racial Justice

1,931 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 29 days ago by BancroftBear93
Bobodeluxe
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Man, this is just so complicated. Back in the day, affirmative action helped create a student body much more reflective of the state population. That pretty much died on constitutional arguments, until a doomed attempt to bring back a slightly different version was attempted recently to increase white enrollment, to the detriment of Asians, dissolved in accusations of hypocrisy.

The very low student attendance at home games is reflective of the attitude that "they don't belong here". Kids who attend underfunded public schools in working class and poorer neighborhoods produce a much smaller percentage of Cal level students.

The first time I heard the comment, "These aren't our kids," when defending our unequal school funding mechanism, I was shocked. Eventually I accepted the fact that most people really don't care.

Four centuries of history. We will see if things can change.
GivemTheAxe
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Bobodeluxe said:

Man, this is just so complicated. Back in the day, affirmative action helped create a student body much more reflective of the state population. That pretty much died on constitutional arguments, until a doomed attempt to bring back a slightly different version was attempted recently to increase white enrollment, to the detriment of Asians, dissolved in accusations of hypocrisy.

The very low student attendance at home games is reflective of the attitude that "they don't belong here". Kids who attend underfunded public schools in working class and poorer neighborhoods produce a much smaller percentage of Cal level students.

The first time I heard the comment, "These aren't our kids," when defending our unequal school funding mechanism, I was shocked. Eventually I accepted the fact that most people really don't care.

Four centuries of history. We will see if things can change.

We have had many discussions on why fan/student attendance is down. Turns out there are many reasons and no single cause.
1. Cal's poor performance on the field.
2. Unpredictable game times, night games, week-night games.
3. Availability of games on TV reduce the need for in person attendanc.
4 increasing prices.
5. Removal of Family Tickers
6. Poor marketing efforts by Cal
7. Competing attractions that We're not there before: 49ers, Raiders, Giants, A's, Warriors, Sharks, Sacto Kings
8 youth soccer and other youth sports that compete with Cal football for family time
9 changing demographics
10. Decline in interest in football attributable to a. decline in HS football due to $$$ and head trauma b. Decline in HS bands (whose primary focus was HS football).
11. Change in Cal student body with increasing push for high academic performance such that students have less free time
12. (You name it)
MugsVanSant
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Either there is a fundamental human right to be treated by government without regard to one's race or sex or there is no such fundamental human right. If there is such a fundamental human right policies designed to benefit certain races or a certain sex to the detriment or exclusion of others are flagrant violations of that fundamental right. If there is no such fundamental human right the various forms of de jure racial discrimination are not such a big deal after all.
BancroftBear93
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