Conversations about race are difficult. In sports, these conversations are more important now than ever before. We know sport is a place where people from all backgrounds come together. It is, for this reason, we want to make sure we equip you with resources to help you engage and have a dialogue with the youth you mentor.
Here are just 5 questions to ask your athletes and yourself to better develop solutions that work to battle racism within the environment of sports.
FIVE QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK YOURSELF
1. DO YOU LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND?
Active listening is the first step in DEI competency.
How often do you interact with, listen to, or have open conversations with people from different backgrounds, identities, or cultural experiences?
What are some ways to have more conversations with diverse perspectives?
2. ARE YOU EDUCATING YOURSELF?
How are you continuing to learn about the experiences of underrepresented groups, both now and throughout our history?
How are you expanding your knowledge in the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion?
3. HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE EVERY INDIVIDUAL KNOWS AND FEELS LIKE THEY BELONG ON THE TEAM?
Do you see and embrace all of the unique differences your athletes bring to the group?
How do you ensure your team rules and policies are inclusive and equitable?
4. DO YOU ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR BIASES?
What are your preconceived thoughts and beliefs about others based on experiences, or lack of experiences, that need to be challenged in order to grow?
5. ARE YOU A BYSTANDER OR AN UPSTANDER?
Do you stand idly by when you see something not right, or are you practicing moral courage in support of all the kids you serve?
Are your actions in line with your words?
FIVE TOPICS YOU CAN DISCUSS WITH YOUR ATHLETES
- WHAT'S YOUR UNIQUE STORY? HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF YOUR SPORT?
- WHAT IF YOU WERE EXCLUDED OR TREATED DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE OF SOMETHING PEOPLE SEE WHEN THEY LOOK AT YOU, OR FOR SOMETHING THAT WAS OUTSIDE OF YOUR CONTROL?
- WHAT MAKES A GREAT TEAMMATE? HOW CAN YOU MAKE SURE ALL TEAMMATES FEEL WELCOMED?
- HAS THERE EVER BEEN A TIME WHERE A TEAMMATE WAS LEFT OUT AND YOU EITHER HELPED OR WISHED YOU HAD? DISCUSS THE SITUATION AND HOW IT MADE YOU FEEL.
- HAS ANYONE EVER MADE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT YOU THAT WEREN'T TRUE? WHAT ASSUMPTIONS HAVE YOU MADE ABOUT OTHERS BEFORE GETTING TO KNOW THEM?