Stand up with our Black college athletes! #WeAreUnited

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    Stand up with our Black college athletes! #WeAreUnited

    Hundreds of college athletes from schools in the PAC-12 athletic conference have been organizing and building a player-led movement, #WeAreUnited. Last Sunday, they took a bold stance and threatened to sit out this season if their demands for safe and fair play are not met. We are standing united with these leaders.

    College athletes are not essential workers. Once again, we see how all of the actors in college football from the NCAA to the athletic conferences, the universities, and the coaches prioritize reaping massive profits from college sports over the lives of the players. Black athletes, who make up the vast majority of college football and basketball players, are already at a higher risk of grave outcomes if they contract the virus. Beyond the fact that sports seasons have been and can be postponed when necessary, these players are still unable to earn income for their labor!

    If the athletic season continues, specific accommodations must be made to ensure the health and financial safety of these students are prioritized. 

    These are our demands to the NCAA and athletic conferences:

    1. Scholarship guarantee - schools must guarantee that no player who opts out of the current season will lose their scholarships or eligibility. Currently, athletic scholarships are only guaranteed for one year.
    2. Pay the Players - Black football and basketball players, who often come from low-income households, make up the vast majority of sports that generate the most money. While Black college athletes are forced to finance the athletic departments, the predominantly white sports they fund are being protected. The PAC-12 players are calling on the conference to distribute 50 percent of its revenue generated by each sport to the athletes. It’s time to pay the players!
    3. Health care guarantee - schools must cover all COVID-19 related medical expenses of college athletes, regardless of if the full season happens or not. If a college athlete contracts COVID-19 or a related illness, the school must be held responsible to cover the medical expenses.
    4. Hazard Pay - This is not a regular sports season. Playing during a pandemic is not safe. Even essential workers are accommodated for the risks to their health and safety during the pandemic. Some schools are asking students to stay at home and take classes online but still asking college athletes to play football games.  

    Professional athletes in the WNBA and NFL are refusing to play amidst COVID-19. It is ridiculous for schools to continue expecting college athletes to play without hazard pay. Supporting these students with pay during the pandemic is the bare minimum a school should do. We cannot wait for the NCAA and universities to value the Black lives that make them rich; we have to demand that they do!  

    Stand with Black college athletes! Demand that the NCAA and athletic conference guarantee scholarships, health care, and fair play for players now!

    Here is the Petition:
    Dear Mark Emmert,

    Earlier this summer, as Black Lives Matter protests spread around the country, you released a statement “recognizing the power of protest in creating societal change.” You have the opportunity to stand on the right side of history and negotiate a fair deal with the college football players behind the #WeAreUnited movement. As Congress is now stepping in to regulate name, image, and likeness policies for players, you have the opportunity to redeem yourself and finally pay and protect the players that bring the money to make NCAA and college sports feasible.