On Monday, Stanford Athletics Director Bernard Muir published “An Open Letter to the Stanford Athletics Family” on the Stanford Athletics website as well as his personal Twitter account. This letter came seven days after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer’s knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The death sparked protests across the nation over police brutality and systemic racism.
In his letter, Muir described the past week as one of “anger, pain, confusion and determination,” and asked that everyone “do [their] part to ensure that meaningful and lasting change happens.” Muir wrote:
“When I watched the violent arrest of George Floyd last week, my first thought was, that could be me. I was angry, scared and unsure. But I found my footing in talking with my daughters, engaging with our student-athletes and realizing that I didn’t have to have all the answers. I just had to be willing to listen and to lend my own voice to the cause…I am also more committed than ever to using my platform and privilege to amplify the voices of those who are not being heard.”
Like Muir, a number of members of the Stanford Athletics community have used their platform to speak up in the wake of Floyd’s death.
Former Stanford athletes, including Olympic gold medalist swimmer Simone Manuel ’18, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman ’10, Los Angeles Sparks power forward and ESPN commentator Chiney Ogwumike ’14 and decorated professional golfer Tiger Woods made the following statements:
A number of current Stanford athletes, including basketball players Dijonai Carrington ’20, a star guard who will graduate transfer to Baylor next season and Maya Dodson ’21, a junior power forward, as well as football players Kendall Williamson ’21, a junior strong safety, Thomas Booker ’21, a junior defensive end, Curtis Robinson ’21, a fifth-year inside linebacker and Jonathan McGill ’22, a sophomore safety, have made their voices heard on social media:
Outside of individual athletes, a number of Stanford teams have posted messages of solidarity and support for change.
“[The statements] are intended to represent the collective sentiments and perspectives of that program through collaboration and discussion between student-athletes and coaches,” wrote Stanford Athletics spokesperson Brian Risso in an email to The Daily. “Once messages have been finalized by each team, department staff provides general support as it relates to editing, design and publishing.”
Out of the 36 varsity teams, the following are teams who have released statements as of early Thursday afternoon:
A number of teams including baseball and women’s lacrosse, which have not released statements, participated in Blackout Tuesday via social media.
Contact Inyoung Choi at ichoi ‘at’ stanford.edu.