The Big 12 Requiring Social Justice Messages On Uniforms Kills Player Rights

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The Big 12 Conference is requiring social justice messages on all uniforms as part of their “anti-racism” campaign. This plan will go into effect as early as this week that even says “players might be on the field for the National Anthem.”

Yes, you heard “might”.

“We want to start a conversation” quickly transformed into forced action didn’t it? A movement that seems less about a dialogue and more about control.

Big difference between allowing anti-racism messages rather than insisting on them. A literal stripping of the rights for any player to disengage with the movement. Remember the first amendment? The Big 12 isn’t interested in giving grown men the choice, so the conference made it for them.

“Each of our schools will be doing a unity message as part of its pregame show”, Commissioner of the Big 12 Bob Bowlsby said to

“We want to make sure that student-athletes can find their voice and use their voice. Yet we also have to manage it so that there are no significant disruptions of the contest as well.”

Players are suddenly encouraged to use their voice, but they have no say in playing in a uniform with slogans draped across their chest. Black Lives Matter stickers can make their way onto helmets and players that disagree with the movement are expected to shut up and play football.

Feels like the conference is telling players to step into the relaxation zone like Derek Zoolander to be hypnotized. Control is being disguised as a social justice movement and it won’t play well with their audience.

What the Big 12 Should be doing

Freedom of choice for all players to demonstrate as they see fit should be the move. That includes any attempt to demonstrate for the children killed in the streets of our inner cities that have been forgotten about by BLM leaders. Ratings will plummet regardless of the angle you take on social justice in sports, but let’s keep it consistent.

Majority of sports fans use their three hours of football Saturday as a sanctuary away from real-life issues. Focusing on football during football season isn’t for a lack of caring, but to keep their sanity.

If people want to solve social issues in their communities, turn on FOX or CNN. Figure out which issues need our support on political platform these discussions were designed for. Forcing stickers and banners down every player and audience member’s face shuts down discussion.

“Anti-racism” and “Anti-hate”?

How are we going to feel that we’ve made any progress when we can use anecdotal evidence as proof America sucks? Hardly any college football fans turn on a game to hear about how bad this country is. To be lectured on the history of this country. People flip the T.V. on to be entertained and in this case, to watch football.

United is a funny way for the commissioner to describe demonstrating against the beliefs of more than half his audience. He was pressured by the movement (which was the point) and now seeks to ruin the last thing politics hadn’t completely destroyed. Sports.

Seems that safe haven has completely gone away as we draw closer to a country where you can’t escape Thanksgiving chat. A real shame.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. It’s NOT the politics that ruins everything, it’s the HYPOCRISY and/or one-sidedness that does. Sure, there are plenty of pepole who don’t want it at all. But there are also people who don’t care as long as they think that both sides are represented, and nobody is being forced to do anything. This is what the NBA, MLB and now B12 have done and it’s why people RECOIL so much.

  2. Be careful, Gary. This article sounds like it was inspired by Jason Whitlock, and we all know what the MSM think of him… (But you also know what the VIPs think of him, too.)

    Related to the article, I think you’re spot on. This is not going to be a good look for the Big 12, and if I were a coach or a football player in that conference, well, I’m not sure how I’d be handling this right now. This has ugly written all over it (no pun intended).

    • You are correct Pam. We all signed up as a means to support free speech. We are also sports fans that don’t want politics in our quest to just watch the gifted athletes play. They are blessed with exceptional talent and are still very young. If it is true that the athletes have to put something on their jersey, they (as we all are seeing) are being manipulated. Punishment for thinking outside of the social media justice system? I guess we will see how it plays

      • Gary, no harm meant by that comment. Quite the contrary, actually. It was rather inspiring and enlightening.
        I think this article was well-written and I enjoyed it as much as anything I’ve read from Whitlock.

  3. Great article and commentary. Forcing players and schools to bow down to a certain political affiliation is wrong. This will backfire but so many people are caught up in the dare I say “popularity” of BLM, etc that they feel beholden to show support lest they get called racist.

  4. One correction- it isn’t politics destroying sports, it’s leftism. Now moderate and conservative Americans are forced to fight back. It isn’t us who have damaged academia, media, entertainment and technology by insisting on one point of view and viciously attacking the left. It is always them. Leftism ruins everything it touches. The irony of forcing “unity” should not be lost on Bowlsby, but he obviously doesn’t understand irony.

  5. I can’t begin to tell you just how done I am with all of this. The levels of complete unawareness shown by these administrators and decision makers show just how much of a bubble they all really do live in.
    So, no NBA (not too much to miss anyway, my opinion), very limited MLB, no NFL, and now no college football either. I know I’m not on their radar, but my guess is there area an awful lot just like me.
    The basketball season will be the final straw.

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