By Whitney Moran, Staff Writer
Summer 2020 sparked many conversations about life in America, with one of the most prominent ones being social justice and diversity. Protests for the Black Lives Matter movement continue on across America, and here on our campus, the athletic department has launched an initiative to support and amplify many of the diverse voices of our student athletes. Athletes have never just been solely athletes, and the university is giving a platform to student athletes to speak up about what they believe in.
Beginning with the hashtag #LIUsingOurVoice on both Instagram and Twitter, the athletic department has announced the movement as a “student-driven social media initiative,” taking the lead from many professional athletes to speak out about injustices in society. Over the course of the school year, many student athletes will comment about what the initiative means to them and how people can take action.
The first comment for #LIUsingOurVoice is from sophomore Noah Anderson, who said “Black lives matter. My Black life matters. I want to feel as though our black lives are valued, and not feared or condemned. I see myself in Tamir Rice. I see myself in Trayvon Martin. I see myself in Philando Castile. I remember being pulled over for a dim tail light and being asked to step out of the car by the officer. I remember not thinking whether or not I had done something wrong but if I would make it home that night.”
The athletics department is doing what they can to encourage more athletes to share their experiences.
“Liking and sharing and commenting on the posts is the most impactful thing to do to support the initiative,” director of media relations and assistant athletic director Casey Snedecor said. “And follow LIU Athletics. Engagement on those posts helps those athletes see that their voices are being heard and that they matter, and that’s the goal of the initiative in the first place. We’d also love for athletes to continue to submit their experiences- it won’t be a very long program if nobody shares anything.”
The link for submission is in the @liuathletics Instagram bio.
This initiative is just one way that the administration is supporting student athletes, but it is one of the most valuable.
“I think it’s important to highlight and support our athletes. We try to do that always with our department accounts, but this has given us a chance to spotlight issues that matter to them,” Snedecor said. “Athletes’ voices have never been more impactful, and I think it’s important that the department and the university supports and encourages Sharks using their voices to impact positive social change. Social media is an easy avenue that we can use to amplify their voices, so I hope that #LIUsingOurVoices becomes a way that our athletes feel like they can speak up.”
The @liuathleteics Instagram page states that #LIUsingOurVoice is “about amplifying what matters to our sharks, and celebrating what makes us who we are.”
Learn about the experiences of Post athletes on Instagram and Twitter through the tag #LIUsingOurVoice.