Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren announced the creation of an anti-racism and anti-hate task force on Monday as protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing continued.
Warren succeeded Jim Delaney as the conference’s commissioner in 2019 and became the first black commissioner to lead any of the Power Five college conferences. He also came to the Big Ten from the Minnesota Vikings.
In an open letter, Warren said that Floyd’s death “cannot be in vain.”
“As a black man, I pray every day for the health and safety of my wife and children, especially during interactions with law enforcement,” Warren wrote in an open letter. “We continue to see inequality and deep divide regarding how members of the black community are treated compared to the rest of society and too often, the results have been horrific and senseless. Such racism and inequality are pervasive, not just endemic in law enforcement.”
An open letter from Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren pic.twitter.com/Rw90xdMcx5— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) June 1, 2020
Task force will include athletes, coaches and others
Warren said that his coalition would be comprised of those involved in college athletics from athletes to school presidents.
“I have already received powerful notes of support and interest in joining this coalition and look forward to partnering with the existing diversity councils on our various campuses,” he said. “It is critical that our student-athletes possess their rights to free speech, their rights to peaceful protest and we will work to empower them in creating meaningful change.”
“We must listen to our young people. Our children and future generations deserve better. We are either part of the problem or part of the solution. The Big Ten Conference will be part of the solution as we actively and constructively combat racism and hate in our country.”
Minnesota cut ties with Minneapolis PD
The University of Minnesota said it was ending its large events contract with the Minneapolis Police Department two days after Floyd was killed. Former officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter after he had his knee on Floyd’s neck for approximately nine minutes.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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