EbeneMagazine – US – Illinois helmets reflect social change

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For the season opener against Wisconsin on Friday night, the Illinois football team replaced the traditional orange and blue Block I helmet sticker with a black Block I as part of the ‘an effort to support social change The set included a white jersey and white pants

For all games, player helmets will be adorned with a small rear decal with a black fist

In addition, players chose one of five messages to display on the rear bumpers of their helmets: Black Lives Matter, I Fight Against Racism, Together, Equality, or United

The uniform initiative started with the team’s board of directors compiling a list of different ways to express support for social change The team presented these ideas to the coach -Chief Lovie Smith and athletic director Josh Whitman, who both supported the changes

“Watching our players come together to support their teammates has been extremely rewarding and a testament to the culture we try to create in our locker room,” said Smith “Our team leaders did exactly what we expected of them. them, namely bringing their teammates together around a common voice and message « 

“Our primary mission in Illinois Athletics is to educate the men and women who choose to join our program,” said Whitman “Much of this education takes place outside the four walls of the hall. class as our student-athletes learn to interact with and influence the world around them I am proud that they continue to tackle the difficult issues facing our society and use their platform for positive change.We remain committed to supporting their efforts, on and off the pitch, and I hope that others will do the same « 

The helmet changes come after members of the Illini football team, led by Kendrick Green and Nate Hobbs, staged a peaceful march on August 31 that drew student-athletes from many sports

Numerous members of the Illinois Athletics Department including Whitman, Smith, men’s basketball coach Brad Underwood also participated The team led a peaceful march from Memorial Stadium to the downtown Champaign

Illinois student-athletes have also been active users of their social media accounts to protest racial inequality and promote social change

« We wanted to show that we are aware of what is happening in our country right now, » said senior cornerback Nate Hobbs « We are ready to take a stand, not as one, but as a unit »

« Having the Black I on our helmets for this first game is a symbol of unity and that this team represents the Black Lives Matter movement, » said senior linebacker Milo Eifler

« What is understood doesn’t need to be explained, but there are still problems in this world with racism and unity, » defensive lineman Jamal Woods said. « We try to educate our communities to inspire people to do the right things »

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Illinois Fighting Illini football, Illinois, Wisconsin Badgers football, Lovie Smith, social justice, Josh Whitman, Big Ten Conference, American football

EbeneMagazine – United States – Helmets of Illinois reflect social change



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