The Big East men’s and women’s basketball teams will wear a Black Lives Matter patch on their uniforms next season in an effort to raise awareness on social justice issues.
The conference announced the decision Wednesday after it was unanimously approved by its 11 members.
“We hope our BLM initiative, coupled with the Big East’s prominence and visibility, can help our country bridge its protracted racial divide and allow us, once and for all, to live up to our national ideals of equality for all,” conference Commissioner Val Ackerman said in a statement.
The idea surfaced this summer after 21 Big East assistant coaches formed a coalition called Coaches for Action. They proposed in June that the league support the addition of a BLM patch on the players’ jerseys.
The group also hopes to organize voter registration drives in each of the Big East’s 11 cities this fall and it’d like to create a scholarship fund for first-generation minority students.
Creighton assistant Terrence Rencher is one of the 21 assistants who make up the Coaches for Action coalition.
Coaches for Action posted this response to the league’s decision on its Twitter account Wednesday: “We thank the Big East for their partnership in launching this founding initiative. … This statement by the Big East and 11 member universities that ‘Black Lives Matter’ centers the lives, experiences and dreams of our players, coaches, administrators and supporters during a crucial time in our society.”
The NCAA announced Wednesday its Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has recommended college athletic programs be prohibited from scheduling required activities on Election Day. The Division I Council will vote on the proposed rule change next month.
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