Sports

Women’s soccer team looks to continue pattern of social activism

Throughout the fall of 2017, hundreds of players across the National Football League brought a debate over police brutality and systemic inequality to the forefronts of people’s minds all across America by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Their actions led national news, ignited barroom and water cooler conversations and became a talking point for a President keen to wage culture wars. Most importantly, their activism inspired a generation of young people. That influence extended to Macalester College, where many members of the women’s soccer team opted to kneel during the national anthem.

After making that decision, the team published an op-ed in The Mac Weekly. They wrote, “It is impossible to ignore the history of systemic injustice that targets people of color in our country, and it is dangerous to pretend that these issues of institutional racism don’t continue to exist today. By taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem, we acknowledge and protest police brutality and racial injustices that affect ourselves, teammates, classmates, friends and families on a daily basis.”

The team unanimously decided that taking a knee was not enough, and that it could be transformed into broader campus activism. After the initial protest, the team turned to other concrete actions and landed on RISE, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality. The Initiative is a nonprofit that seeks to educate and train athletic staff and student athletes to promote and have difficult conversations about understanding, respect and equality.

“The women’s soccer team started talking about kneeling during the anthem during this last season, and one of our concerns with doing so was that it would be an empty gesture,” Mia Stripp ’19, the driving force behind the burgeoning partnership, said. “We really wanted to make sure that, although the visible protest was an important first step, we committed ourselves to becoming involved in more tangible ways on our campus and in our community.”

Stripp continued, saying, “Some of the articles we read about NFL players and other professional athletes’ protests mentioned RISE, so I did some research and saw that they have collegiate programs that work on leadership, education and conversation programs. They have also worked with other MIAC schools like Carleton and St. Olaf, so it seemed like they were well-suited to Macalester as well. After speaking with the collegiate coordinator, we thought that they could have a really positive impact on our campus and it seemed like a program that Mac students would really support and be interested in participating in.”

That process begins by sending out a survey to student-athletes, so that RISE can get a sense of the attitudes among Macalester’s community. Soon after, the group will conduct a one-time discovery session, where they meet with members of the school’s student-athlete community as well as the athletic department, to try and “design content and programming which takes into account the unique context of each campus,” according to RISE literature distributed to students who will take part in the discovery session.

Macalester’s discovery session is set to take place later this semester, with two representatives from each varsity team asked to take part. After the session, the nominated representatives will receive training to take back to their own teams to continue having conversations about equality and respect. The goal is to help foster a strong team culture.

To put the session together, members of the women’s soccer team are liaising with Steve Murray, the assistant athletic director. Keeping the moving parts in order has not been straightforward because Stripp is abroad this semester, but Molly Adams ’20 and Allison Dwinell ’21 have stepped up to help organize the discovery session. Despite the difficulties posed, Adams said the department has been helpful in making sure they meet their goal of having a training session before the end of the year.

“The athletic department has been really supportive throughout this process. Steve Murray, our assistant athletic director, is helping us organize the RISE training session. With Mia’s absence, Allison and I came in a little unsure about the progress that had been made so far. Steve caught us up to speed and has been consistently following up with us, the RISE team, and the rest of the athletic staff about the RISE sessions,” Adams said.

The department has worked to be as supportive of the students as possible. At the same time, they’ve also worked to find a balancing act between providing institutional and infrastructural help while maintaining the student-led element.

“Especially with the RISE program, one of the thoughts is that we really want it to be student-athlete driven,” Murray said. “And, we want to be there to support them and help them, be able to continue through and be able to accomplish what they want. But it is really having them take the lead because we feel like it’ll have the biggest impact and effect if it’s coming from them and it’s what they’re wanting to do compared to us leading it.”

Over the next several weeks as the program continues to take shape, the student-driven aspect will remain crucial. Stripp highlighted the ability that players have to come together as one team, something applicable to all sports, not simply soccer. The student organizers are hoping the unique community fostered by sports will help them succeed.

“When the women’s soccer team decided to kneel, for example, some players decided to do it without hesitation and other players decided to remain standing. Even within these differences, because we were able to have a conversation about our reasoning and decision making, there was a level of understanding and support that would have been difficult to establish without the bond that being teammates creates. By starting with individual athletes, and moving to larger groups, I think that the conversation aspect of the RISE program has the potential to be really successful,” Stripp said.

Sports Editor

Liam McMahon (he/him/his) is a Junior from Milwaukee, WI. He is currently the Sports Editor. He has been on the staff since first year. He talks about Wisconsin too much.

April 12, 2018

5 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Women’s soccer team looks to continue pattern of social activism”

  1. Hey, how’s it going?

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    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

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    Biblical prophecy tells us that this Jewish Messiah who will take the stage will be the antichrist “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). For a time he will bring about a false peace, but “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15)…then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

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    “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

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    “EITHER HUMAN INTELLIGENCE ULTIMATELY OWES ITS ORIGIN TO MINDLESS MATTER OR THERE IS A CREATOR…” – JOHN LENNOX

    We all know God exists. Why? Because without Him, we couldn’t prove anything at all. Do we live our lives as if we cannot know anything? No. So why is God necessary? In order to know anything for certain, you would have to know everything, or have revelation from somebody who does. Who is capable of knowing everything? God. So to know anything, you would have to be God, or know God.

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    It has been calculated by Roger Penrose that the odds of the initial conditions for the big bang to produce the universe that we see to be a number so big, that we could put a zero on every particle in the universe, and even that would not be enough to use every zero. What are the odds that God created the universe? Odds are no such thing. Who of you would gamble your life on one coin flip?

    Is there evidence that the Bible is the truth? Yes. Did you know that the creation accounts listed in the book of Genesis are not only all correct, but are also in the correct chronological order? That the Bible doesn’t say the Earth was formed in six 24-hour days but rather six long but finite periods of time? That the Bible makes 10 times more creation claims than all major “holy” books combined with no contradictions, while these other books have errors in them? The Bible stood alone by concurring with the big bang saying, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); and says our universe is expanding, thousands of years before scientists discovered these things. Watch a potential life-changing video on the front page of http://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM with Astronomer(PhD) Hugh Ross explaining all these facts based on published scientific data. He has authored many books, backed even by atheist scientists.

    Jesus fulfilled more than 300 Messianic prophecies concerning His birth place, details of His life, His mission, His nature, His death, and His resurrection. He came to pay a debt that we could not, to be our legal justifier to reconcile us back to a Holy God; only if we are willing to receive Him: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

    God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him, through faith, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus says if we wish to enter into life to keep the commands! The two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself. All the law hang on these commands. We must be born of and lead by the Holy Spirit, to be called children of God, to inherit the kingdom. If we are willing to humble ourselves in prayer to Jesus, to confess and forsake our sins, He is willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking of Him; giving us a new heart, leading us into all truth!

    Jesus came to free us from the bondage of sin. The everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels due to disobedience to God’s law. If we do the same, what makes us any different than the devil? Jesus says unless we repent, we shall perish. We must walk in the Spirit, producing fruits of love and forgiveness, so we may not fulfill the lusts of the flesh being hatred, fornication, drunkenness and the like. Whoever practices such things will not inherit the kingdom (Galatians 5:16-26). If we sin, we may come before Jesus to ask for forgiveness (1 John 2:1-2). Evil thoughts are not sins, but rather temptations. It is not until these thoughts conceive and give birth by our hearts desire that they become sin (James 1:12-15). When we sin, we become in the likeness of the devil’s image, for he who sins is of the devil (1 John 3:8); but if we obey Jesus, in the image of God. For without holiness, we shall not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

    The oldest religion in the world is holiness (James 1:27). What religion did Adam and Eve follow before the fall? Jesus, Who became the last Adam, what religion does He follow? Is He not holy? He never told us to follow any religion or denomination but to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him (Luke 9:23). There are many false doctrines being taught leading people astray. This is why we need the Holy Spirit for discernment. Unlike religion, holiness cannot be created. It is given to us from above by the baptism of the Spirit. Jesus is more than a religion; He is about having a personal relationship with the Father. Start by reading the Gospel of Matthew, to hear the words of God, to know His character and commandments. Follow and obey Jesus, for He is the way, the truth, and the life!

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