USC women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley is realizing that her good favor with some of the citizens of South Carolina and certain USC alumni doesn’t extend past the basketball court.
The NCAA Championship coach dropped a #BLM hashtag while thanking an ally for supporting social justice and racial equality and the good Rightwing conservative Christians of confederate South Carolina lost their marbles.
The backlash from old white people who condemn the Black Lives Matter movement as nothing more than a communist plot to destroy their cherished oppressive American way of life, came fast and furious. Some of those USC boosters probably spit up their soup when they saw the partisan power play taking place on Coach Staley’s Twitter feed.
Her powerful words in the Player’s Tribune back in June– a call for change and plea to Black people to go out and vote — was just too much for some of the old-school, white South Carolinians to stomach.
Staley offered up personal reflections on the impact of racism, police use of force and protests in the wake of Minnesota man George Floyd’s death.
Staley has also used social media to decry “deep rooted racism” and applaud the University of Minnesota for cutting ties with the Minneapolis Police Department after one of its officers knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes as he repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.
They also had to let coach know that “All Lives Matter.”
Over the past several years, the South Carolina women’s basketball coach has become increasingly outspoken on issues of racial justice.
She recently expressed her support of the pro player protests that rocked the sports world in response to the Jacob Blake shooting. Staley said she believed they were “great” and an appropriate response to the events of the world.
And when asked whether she thought her student-athletes would ever sit out a game to send a similar message, she left the door open to the possibility.
“I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me if they decided that, you know, this is something that in which they want to flex,” Staley said. “And then if we get to that point, we get to that point and we’ll have to have discussions, but hopefully we’ll have some discussions prior to that, prior to it getting into that point. And if it ever got to that point, what can I do? I’m not gonna stand in their way.”
Staley’s comments aren’t sitting well with the college sports plantation owners and supporters. She’s also been aggressive in trying to change the administrative culture at the school.
According to the Charlotte Observer, over the past several months, Staley has spoken up about the need for greater diversity in USC’s athletics department, joined the push to remove Strom Thurmond’s name from South Carolina’s campus buildings, and been named to the SEC’s newly formed council on racial equity and social justice.
LA Sparks and TNT hoops analyst Candace Parker was shocked by a vicious, bigoted message left on the Gamecock central forum accusing Staley of infiltrating sports with politics. It was a harsh reminder that there is a contingent of people in South Carolina who are members of the old confederate guard and won’t relinquish their bigoted beliefs and culture easily. The thought of a unified Black community is their worst nightmare.