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NAACP Urges Black Student-Athletes To Boycott Florida Public Colleges Following State Anti-DEI Policies

#NAACP President Derrick Johnson is urging Black student-athletes to reconsider attending Florida's public colleges in light of a state policy that prohibits these institutions from using government funds for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

 In a letter to NCAA student-athletes, Johnson emphasizes the importance of #DEI for equitable educational outcomes and argues that if colleges cannot fully support their athletes, these individuals should take their talents elsewhere. 

"Diversity, equity, and inclusion are paramount to ensuring equitable and effective educational outcomes," Johnson said in a statement accompanying the letter, which was first reported by NBC News. "The value Black and other college athletes bring to large universities is unmatched."

This appeal follows #Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's approval of a bill banning state and federal funding for DEI programs at public colleges and universities. The controversy escalated when the University of Florida cut all DEI positions, drawing criticism from NFL Hall of Famer an alum of the school Emmitt Smith, among others. DeSantis defends the move, asserting that DEI is "toxic." 

"This imbalance of power and profit demands a response," Johnson went on to say, "particularly because these institutions reap considerable financial benefits from the very individuals they fail to stand by in matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion. If any institution is to reap the benefits of Black talent, it is only right that they completely invest in Black futures."

The debate over DEI is part of a broader national conversation, with similar measures being pursued in other states. Johnson acknowledges the financial challenges of boycotting for some Black student-athletes but insists on the need for a response to the systemic undervaluation of their contributions to college athletics, which are a significant revenue source for these institutions.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Link: NBCNews


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