Dear Snap! Raise Champion coaches,
I am deeply saddened by recent events in cities around the country. And while my passion for understanding how we got to this point started more than a decade ago in college, I still have a lot to learn about how we can work together to make our society fair and equitable for all, especially for African Americans.
George Floyd isn’t the first African American to be unjustly the victim of excessive force. He’s just the most recent and his death points to an institutional issue that is inescapable. This issue deserves more than just a statement, which I believe are too often just cheap platitudes and, in many cases, suggest that the people and companies behind such statements are just trying to get by with the minimum amount of effort possible.
The issues of racial injustice and institutional violence against black people are not new. These issues have existed in this country for hundreds of years, so while it’s naive to think that they will be easily solved, how we as coaches and community leaders choose to address these issues with our kids is more important than ever.
As a coach, your voice has incredible weight and can set in motion the wheels of change for your kids. We believe that every kid needs a champion, and that the greatest leaders, like the ones I had as a youth athlete, can help curb racism through open, direct conversations and in doing so not give it the oxygen it requires to grow.
Sports and pro athletes have long taken the lead in bringing people of different backgrounds and races together—from Jackie Robinson to Bill Russell, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Muhamad Ali and Colin Kaepernick. Each of these amazing athletes advocated for racial equality and have played a role in helping shed light on the issue. But don’t think that your team members need to become pro athletes or famous musicians to affect change. You work with and are responsible for helping shape the leaders of tomorrow and as such we have great faith in how you will help your kids address this current issue and be poised to make a positive impact.
We believe more than ever that your voice as a leader has the power to educate, inform, unite and heal your community. I personally invite you to consider publicly, or anonymously, sharing with the tens of thousands of coaches in the Snap! Raise community how you are approaching this moment with your team members. To do so, just reply back to this message and we will add your thoughts to a post on our site.
Your words and what you are doing with your teams are far more powerful than an email from me. We encourage you to share your approach with others in our nation-wide community as we know your approach and experience can help others. If you would be willing to share, just reply back to this message.
On behalf of all of us, thank you for all you do to bring kids together and build stronger communities –
Cole Morgan, CEO