Beyond Sport was founded with a simple notion that sport can break down barriers and impact the world in a positive way.
As an organization and as a movement, we cannot tolerate injustice, discrimination and inequality. To remain silent is to be complicit, which is why we are using our platform, now and always, to condemn institutional and systemic racism and violence in all its forms.
Sport – across generations, borders and people – is something that binds us. Beyond Sport is committed to racial and social justice and collaborating with teams, leagues, athletes and the industry to ensure that there is action behind our words.
-Nick Keller, Founder & President, Beyond Sport
OUR COMMITMENT TO BLACK LIVES
We believe that black lives matter and Beyond Sport and thinkBeyond fully support the protestors who are putting their lives at risk to demand action and justice. We condemn police violence, the killings of Breonna Taylor (26), Ahmaud Arbery (25), George Floyd (46), David McAtee (53) and the countless others before them, as well as the racist actions and policies that continue to put black and brown lives in danger in the US and around the world.
Sport’s role in social change is something we believe in completely and as a company we have always been conscious of the role we can play to raise issues of inequality and prejudice around the world. We do not, cannot and will not tolerate the suffering, discrimination, inequality and harassment. However, on the issue of institutional and systemic racism, our approach isn't working. Coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is laying bare how the underlying racism embedded in policies, practices and access is disproportionately affecting and killing people of color, it’s obvious that we need to do more.
Therefore, we are committing to improving our approach as a company and a convener in response, with the intent to fully leverage our platforms, partner network and available resources to do so. We are determined to put in the work and time that is necessary to have real impact on breaking down the systems and behaviors that maintain racial, gender and economic inequality and violence in the US and internationally, and to be open, respectful and transparent in the steps we take.
WE ARE COMMITTING TO:
1. INTERNAL ACTION: We recognize that we can’t call for external action to reduce inequality and advance peace, social justice and inclusion without living out those same actions and beliefs internally. Therefore, we are continuing to take a hard look at our organizational practices to ensure that our words match our actions, including by:
- Assessing and updating our diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities policy
- Educating and training all staff on Diversity & Inclusion to ensure that it is reinforced across our organization
- Implementing recruiting, hiring and retention practices to ensure diverse talent among our staff and our Board of Directors/Trustees
- Elevating our employee assistance programs that safeguard and provide resources and guidance for mental health and well-being
Our goal is to have an action plan in place for these steps by July 1.
2. EXTERNAL ACTION: Across our events and development (funding) efforts, we are:
- Requiring that all of our events, platforms and properties have diverse and gender-balanced participants, e.g. representation on panels, roundtable discussions, member networks and convenings. We will also be extending this policy to cover events that we are partnering on and/or that include Beyond Sport as speakers/panelists.
- For our upcoming Workshop Week event, we have changed our opening State of the Industry session to one on the sport sector’s role in addressing racism, followed by a roundtable conversation for partners to create action items for what we as a platform, convener and funder need to be doing to address this issue.
We will not let this end with one or a few discussions. Following guidance gained from the roundtable, we will commit to implementing the action items that are raised.
- Ensuring that the recipients of the Sport for Good Response Fund have diverse representation that takes into account race, gender and ethnicity.
- Updating our Beyond Sport Global Awards criteria with an inclusion clause for those who are running the projects to accompany our existing diversity clause for project beneficiaries.
- Implementing content strands on institutional and systemic racism across all our platforms and properties, including the Sport and STEM Alliance, Stay in the Game Network and 10Roundtables.
- Collaborating with subject matter experts and partners among our network to create a specific strand of work on sport’s role in addressing racism and prejudice.
3. SUPPORTING OUR SECTOR: Our strength has always been in our community and we want to be able to provide our network with tools that can be effective in addressing institutional and systemic racism. The ultimate format is to be determined, but our goal is to provide a comprehensive resource of ways that teams, leagues, NGOs can increase their impact on this issue, and potentially, mounting a research project to augment.
We do not take these commitments lightly and will do all we can to be a part of the solution. If you feel that there is anything else we can do to support this cause and transform our approach, please reach out to us. In the meantime, below are some educational resources and ways to get involved as an individual that you may find useful and we encourage you to share what you are doing to address this issue and what tools and resources would be helpful to you to further your efforts.
Thank you for listening and being part of our Same Team community. Please note that Beyond Sport does not condone any use of the movement to promote individual political or social agendas.
DONATE & SUPPORT
Please consider donating to and volunteering with organizations and movements providing bail relief funds, legal support, advocating for voter registration, black lives matter and combatting institutional racism, violence and inequality.
Beyond Sport has access to a global network of sport for development organizations that are addressing these issues through sport. If you’re interested in learning more or donating to them, please get in touch.
- How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde
- Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge (LA Times Op-ed)
- 31 Children's books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance
- 1619 (New York Times)
- Akala deconstructs race, class, and Britain's modern myths (Unfiltered with James O'Brien)
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Intersectionality Matters! (Hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- 13th (Ava DuVernay)
- American Son (Kenny Leon)
- When They See Us (Ava DuVernay)
- Collection 2: Racial Inequality (British Film Institute)
- Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu)
- Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)
- Shame in the Game: Racism in Football (BBC)
- I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc)
- The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.)