As we enter a new month, we have seen uneasiness, pain and anger around the country over the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis police officers. We at Tackle What’s Next would like to send a statement of support and solidarity with those across the nation fighting for racial justice. TWN is at its core a community for athletes and executives to come together and share best practices, challenges and opportunities in their next journey and career paths after sports. But we also want those in our community to feel safe to share their experiences as individuals, not just as athletes looking for new careers.
As the CEO of Tackle What’s Next, it is my responsibility to ensure that as our new company grows and matures we continue to be inclusive and embrace the conversations that athletes are bravely continuing to stand up for and speak out on. As a starting point, we'll be participating in #BlackOutTuesday today across all our platforms and I encourage you to do the same.
I have the privilege of opting out of conversations about race because I am white. I don’t have to worry whether people perceive me as a threat or if my family members will be safe when they encounter police. I understand that many people don’t have this privilege. While I have always been an ally and an advocate, I haven’t been the best one. I have shied away from sharing things like this because I know that some people will disagree or speak out against it. So instead, I have spoken mostly offline and to those I knew would understand. But that isn’t enough.
I am pledging today to no longer step out when things get “too real”. If some of us can’t escape it, then none of us should be able to. I have always considered myself someone who operates best behind the scenes, the person who makes sure it all goes smoothly on stage for someone else to share their important message. That is where Tackle What’s Next excels as well: as the platform and community for athletes to share their personal stories, their messages and their goals. I will continue to work hard behind the scenes to support all those with a powerful message to share. Tackle What’s Next will continue to give athletes the platform they deserve to share their experiences, tell their stories and change the narrative of life after sports.
I see now more clearly than ever that I must join others on that stage and show my solidarity. I am too closely connected with many who endure so much to not stand up and support them when they are vulnerable. I stand with all those individuals who are risking their lives, their safety and their peace of mind to march against the systemic racism in our society. I hope the TWN platform can also serve as a mouthpiece for athletes to share what matters to them, what they are standing up for every day, and how everyone in our community can help.
In this week's newsletter, we will share further resources and opportunities for our community to join the fight for social and racial justice. Our Post Game Report will highlight those athletes who have made public comments, shown up at protests and are actively speaking out. It’s been amazing to see the sports world refuse to “stick to sports”, and to see athletes leading the charge and sharing their own feelings, thoughts and concerns.
I’d love to hear from you, the members of our community. How can we do better? What can we do to support people who need us to stand with them and speak out? I know that I personally can be doing a lot more than I am, and I plan to start to rectify that in my own life and in my own social circles.
In the meantime, if you are looking for ways to support the movement for social change going on around the country, this article has some great resources and links to organizations doing important work.
I hope you all continue to stay safe and continue to use your voices to inspire positive change in our communities. I look forward to working together to make our nation more equitable and safe for black and brown people.
Founder & CEO
Tackle What’s Next