Kansas Athletics – Unified Against Racism

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(Courtesy of Kansas Athletics)

LAWRENCE, Kan. — “Our core mission of Kansas Athletics is to protect the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes. We do not tolerate any acts of racism or violence and promote an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusivity. We celebrate individuals from all walks of life and do not discriminate based on background, color of skin, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or anything else. Recent acts of racial divide and violence are unacceptable. We respect and support each and every one of our 450-plus student-athletes and value their individuality. We join together as an athletic department, united in hopes to end the unconscionable acts of racism.”

Statement from men’s basketball head coach Bill Self:
“In most of our lives, things are only put into perspective because of an event that directly affects us or someone close to us. However, the recent tragedies over the past week are something that should personally affect each individual across this country that requires our full commitment to create change. The avoidable death of George Floyd, and too many others, saddens my family greatly.

It is incomprehensible that this level of racism still occurs in this day and age, and it’s unacceptable. Anyone possessing basic human kindness must support each other and stand up for those that have been oppressed for far too long.

No one should have to worry that they will be treated differently, or worse yet fear for their lives on a daily basis, simply because the color of their skin or where they are from.

The conversations we have had as a team recently about the racial acts of violence is one that no amount of words can ever do justice. I am frustrated that we as a country have not done our part to create equal rights for all individuals. We must be better.”

Statement from football head coach Les Miles:
“As a football coach, I have had the good fortune of bringing young men together from different backgrounds to achieve a common goal – becoming a team.

I have struggled to express the feelings and emotions with the events that have occurred over the past several days. My deepest condolences to the Floyd family. I am a father, and also a coach to many players both past and present who have enriched my life, and I am thankful for that.

I’ve had players from around the country with a variety of backgrounds and have truly enjoyed working with and serving those quality young men. I encourage these men to go be leaders and make a positive impact in the world.

My heart hurts as I reflect on the racism that still exists in this country and the civil unrest we currently find ourselves in. Regardless of race and color we cannot keep turning a blind eye to those that need our support through words and actions now more than ever. God Bless.”