Race and sports

HSU athletes discuss race and its relation to their collegiate athletic careers

By | Keaundrey Clark

The modern athlete has more to do then just play sports, they participate in their community. They are more socially conscious and have the platform to have their voices heard. Still there are people who want them to remain silent and stick to their respective sports. This is highly irresponsible because if an injustice is happening, it is everyone’s duty as a human being to speak up and allow their voice to be heard. Here at HSU our athletes face similar things as well.

Humboldt State football players such as Curtis Williams, a redshirt junior, knows the struggle of being a black athlete in today’s world.

“I’m a football player, but I’m black as well,” Williams said. “I like to pride myself on being a scholar.”

The 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has had a rocky presidency, to say the least. Consistent daily explosions, rants and odd tweets has made it hard to cover sports from Pop Warner to Professionals. Even the traditional box-score way of sports has been left in the wind. Nowadays sports will likely make it’s way onto the White House lawn.

This powerful element of protest, offers athletes, young and old, the chance to be at the center of a national discussion. They can be community leaders in our country speaking on issues such as race as well as human and moral rights. In this era in which players are routinely asked to “stick to sports,” more and more athletes are saying no.

“Football is not just my life, there are things that happen after football,” Ju’wan Murphy said. “When racial things happen I really try to get involved and see what’s up. I am not defined by what I do on the football field, there is more out there. There are racial problems everywhere in America. You just need to live right and do what is right.”

Head Coach of the Humboldt State football team, Rob Smith, oversees the most African American students at HSU.

“It doesn’t matter their color, it doesn’t matter their culture, it doesn’t matter whether they’re city or country,” Smith said. “You bring the team together. I think our locker room is a great example of what this world needs. People of all colors, from all backgrounds, from a lot of different places, they come together. And I think you really get that in sports, not just football but all sports.”

Sports is a microcosm of society, where all backgrounds and views come together on a given sports teams. Athletes also have opinions and thoughts on what’s effecting this country.

“I do feel like the athletes can use their sport as a stage to speak out on what is going on, because we all know things aren’t right,” Murphy said.

Athletes now more then ever are using their voice to be heard. With eyes on them at all times they know they have the platform to speak of change.

“So I’m going to do everything in my power. I’m not standing up for the American flag or for the pledge of allegiance and I really don’t care what anyone has to say,” said Williams.

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