By: Zachary Draves
Students at Syracuse University have again organized and occupied a building on campus in protest of racist incidents on campus.
As they did back in November 2019, the black student-led movement #NotAgainSU has rightfully so become disillusion and dismayed by the lack of action on the part of the administration to acts of hate.
In response to the recent student occupation, the administration issued suspensions for 30 students involved in the movement.
Yet, there were no suspensions or expulsions for the perpetrators of racist and anti-Semitic actions.
The obvious disconnect on the part of the administration speaks volumes about how they take don’t hate crimes seriously at all.
One of the recent acts that was revealed involved a student-athlete being caught on video using the N-word multiple times during a racist rant in 2018
The student was a member of the field hockey team.
That video existed within a climate of burgeoning hate at SU.
The #NotAgainSU movement drew national attention and notably received the support of the Men’s Basketball team and some of the football players.
The basketball team came out during a home game back in November wearing t-shirts that read #NotAgainSU.
As for the football team, sophomore safety Andre Cisco wrote #NotAgainSU on his cleats and posted it on twitter.
The quarterback Tommy DeVito posted his on his Instagram a story that called for classes to be canceled in acknowledgment of the protest.
Seniors Moe Neal (running back) and Kenneth Ruff (defensive end) expressed online of their intentions to visit and even join in the sit-in.
The fact that the movement is ongoing and that acts of hate are going without discipline allows for more room for these athletes and others to continue to express their feelings about the climate on campus.
Let’s not forget the long rich history of student-athletes doing their part in social justice causes such as the Wyoming 14 in 1969, their alumni known as the Syracuse 8 in 1970, the UNC Football team in 1992, and the Missouri Football team in 2015 among many others.
At a time when hate crimes and hate crime violence are increasing and were acts of racism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism among other forms of bigotry are becoming normalized in our institutions and culture, the need for vast action is urgent.
The sports world is not immune.
In fact, famed sports scholar and activist Dr. Richard Lapchick published an article for ESPN.com that highlight that acts of racism in sports decreased in 2019, but still remains prevalent and normalized.
Hate is real and it is still woven into the fabric of American society, culture, education, politics, sports, etc.
The power of sport to combat it remains strong and won’t go unnoticed.