The PCA Blog

George Floyd was murdered. Our hearts mourn for not only his family, but for those of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and every other Black family that has experienced the devastating loss of a loved one due to senseless police violence and anti-Black racism. These past few weeks have succeeded in shining a light on a deadly and destructive crisis we have endured for centuries: the ugly and undeniable truth of systemic anti-Black injustice. There is no easy solution to undoing centuries of systemic racism; however, daily, consistent actions taken individually and collectively — educating, reading, supporting organizations working on policy change, having conversations and listening, can begin to make a difference. There are community organizers, Black athletes and prominent coaches who have been at the forefront of social justice for decades and PCA is listening and ready to act. We hope the rest of the sports community will join us in fighting anti-Black racism.

Last Monday, PCA openly and decisively condemned all forms of bigotry, hatred, and violence. Black Lives MatterSports has the intrinsic power to transform lives and unify communities. When sports are done right, they cannot fix anti-Black racism alone, but the positive and inclusive actions of coaches, parents, student-athletes, organizational and school leaders throughout the country can start to reverse an age-old trend of systemic racism. 

As a force in education through sports, we vow not to stop at condemnation. PCA will instead strive to be a driving force for reconciliation by partnering with coaches and leaders across the country, providing them with tools needed to foster a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. We know that athletes and coaches can play a substantive role in furthering racial equality and social justice. The successful development of ANY athlete includes parallel development of courage, resilience, and character not limited to a field, court, pool or rink.

Great athletes and coaches have long been recognized as a source of entertainment, using their talent to leave us breathless with emotion as they seek the thrill of victory or endure the agony of defeat. But the greatest have done even more. Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Althea Gibson, Tommie Smith and John Carlos used the platform of sports to fight for social justice in a way that other Black Americans could not — Colin Kaepernick is a present-day example. They are all known as greats because their relentless courage changed worldviews, blazed trails and unlocked doors for greatness to follow. Not only on the athletic fields on which they thrived, but within the communities that needed them most.

Coaches in our country have a platform and responsibility to teach their athletes that they have innate value and dignity that are neither defined nor limited by their race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or resources. Our children need inspiration and guidance from women and men of substance and character. As coaches, it is our responsibility to inspire and model this respect.

Thus, we call on all coaches to play an intentional and active role in ending bigotry and hatred. As coaches, we are motivated by the lore of the big win against a seemingly invincible enemy: systemic anti-Black racism. It’s time for all of us to commit to coaching teams that refuse to accept the idea that this opponent cannot be defeated. We owe it to our young athletes and their generation to show them the possibility of a better world, one in which bigotry, oppression, hatred, and violence are truly unacceptable. As their trusted coaches and leaders, we can prepare them for a world, in which they are not only invited to the table to discuss issues that impact them most, but they are asked and empowered to lead these conversations.

Positive Coaching Alliance Commitment to Change

  • We are developing a task force of key PCA stakeholders to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism education/content into our workshop curriculum for athletes, parents, and coaches. In the past year, PCA led more than 3,500 live, in-person workshops in communities all over the United States. Our platform presents a unique opportunity to be the change we’d like to see.
  • Over the coming weeks, PCA will amplify voices from the Black community, sharing how sports has impacted their lives. We’re starting with PCA-Central Texas Executive Director Trennis Jones.

  • We will host Virtual Round Tables in the coming weeks around sports and racism. More details to come.
  • We are reviewing our recruiting and hiring practices as well as our staff, board, National Advisory Board and Leadership Council make-up to improve the representation of Black and brown leaders in key positions. If we are honest with ourselves, only 13.4% of PCA Trainers are Black, 7.5% of Chapter Board members are Black and 8% of National Advisory Board members are Black. Our CEO is currently the sole Black member of our National Board of Directors. This will change, we must be better.
  • We will partner with an organization that is an expert in addressing social injustice and racism through sport so that we can share their resources with the PCA community.
  • We are committed to Diversity Equity and Inclusion training for PCA’s staff, board, and trainers to further inform meaningful steps PCA can take to create change within our own culture. We recently received grant funding to do just this.
  • Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd, is now a Holiday for PCA employees to encourage 100% voting participation.
  • Every single coach in every zip code deserves access to PCA’s social and emotional training that empowers coaches to develop athletes of character who will be good teammates to one another. In the coming months, we will be launching an initiative to provide this training to coaches in communities who have been historically underserved by PCA.