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Yesterday, we participated in #blackouttuesday on social media in an effort to highlight other voices who need to be heard as they speak out on issues of racial justice and systemic inequality. As the nation continues to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and protest racism in communities large and small, it did not seem the time or place for us to talk about ourselves or triathlon.
This was not, however, the end of the conversation. Neither was it the start.
There are organizations that have been working on these issues, both within and outside of our sports, for decades. We’ve included some resources that were shared with us at the bottom.
We also understand it’s important to listen to the people and groups doing that work, to listen to our readers, and to listen to each other. This is something we’re committed to doing here at Triathlete. You can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and yes, we do ultimately read all of those emails.
We also know triathlon is a very white sport. This remains true. In outdoor recreation as a whole, 74% of participants are white. And it’s something we will all have to continue to grapple with as we work towards removing the historical barriers, not just because all people deserve the opportunity to compete but also because a wider variety of experiences and perspectives makes our sport stronger.
Our role, at Triathlete, is to bring you the stories and voices of our sports. That includes voices that have historically been ignored. We are committed to continuing to expand and diversify our coverage and contributors, and to amplify the voices that do not always get heard from. Again, please tell us what stories we’re missing, who you want to hear from, and when we screw up. Why? Because triathlon and endurance sports, at large, do not exist in a vacuum. They are and we are impacted by inequity, lack of access, violence, poverty, and systemic racism.
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Silence is agreement. Keep showing us who you are and we’ll remember. I’ve been in more than one terrifying racist situation that I wasn’t sure if it would end in my death or the death of the Black folks with me. Luckily that was not the case, but if it was, would you care? Would you still be silent? Would you be too scared to call it racism? Would you look into my past and try to figure out if I lived a life of crime? If I was intoxicated? If I was resisting? Would you justify my murder to make yourself feel better? I’m calling out the bike industry. Black folks have been protesting for at least 3 days now, long enough for you to have had your marketing meetings and come up with a plan on how you can show your support. Vague statements acknowledging that silence is not okay is not enough. Call racism by its name. Tell us you think Black Lives Matter. Tell us what actions you plan to take to better support Black folks. If you can’t show your support, then I know where you stand, and I know that your silence lets me know that protecting Black Lives are not worth your efforts. Full post and resources at aquickbrownfox.com #AQuickBrownFox #RepresentationMatters #BlackLivesMatter #DefundThePolice #Silence
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You posted a black square, great, thanks and welcome! Here are some actionable items for Global Running Day: 1. REGISTER TO VOTE at www.vote.org 2. Follow some of my ROC friends! (Runners of Color—Not a thing but could it be?) @mariellehalll @hassyhass35 @lagat1500 @kemoy_campbell @alisonmdesir @goqueengo @jazmiinefraay @maddddddddd @ajeelenee @aliphine @sallykipyego @sanyarichiross @williams_mills @kimmi_williams 3. Donate to @naacp @aclu_nationwide, George Floyd Memorial Fund, Minnesota Freedom Fund, Reclaim the Block, National Bail Out Fund —I’ll put links in my story. 4. Go for a run! #blacklivesmatter
Some resources that were shared with us to help understand what’s happening in the U.S.
Organizations doing racial justice work:
Campaign Zero: Advocacy for policy solutions to end police violence in America.
Reclaim the Block: Reclaim the Block works to make sure that minorities communities have the resources they need to thrive.
Black Lives Matter Foundation: A global organization whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and intervene in violence inflicted on black communities.
National Bail-Out Fund: This link makes it easy to split donations to bail funds across the country.
Color of Change: The nation’s largest online racial justice organization.
Fair Fight: Promotes fair elections by bringing voter discrimination to light with education programs and election reform advocacy.
ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union stands up for civil liberties across a wide range of projects.
Organizations working within our sports:
International Association of Black Triathletes: A nonprofit organization that works to get African-American youth and adults into the multisport community.
National Black Marathoners Association: Nonprofit organization for African-American distance runners, which also awards grants and scholarships.
Outdoor Afro: A national nonprofit focused on building black leadership networks in the outdoors.