Indiana AD Fred Glass: 'We stand ready to help our students express their voice'

Tom Brew

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University athletic director Fred Glass announced Monday that his department wants their athletes' voices heard when it comes to the issues that surround the murder of the George Floyd in Minneapolis and the ensuing protests that have followed.

Here's the entirety of his statement:

"The Indiana University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics stands with our students in our collective devastation and outrage over the senseless and inexcusable killing of George Floyd. Ever since I first saw the video of George Floyd’s murder, my heart has been hurting in a way I can’t remember it ever hurting, even though this is only the latest of too many examples of the awful consequence of racism so endemic in our society. 

"Still, I know my pain is only a shadow of that being experienced by people of color because as a white person, I can never truly understand the depth of their pain. This was underscored to me by a comment one of our female African-American students shared with me last night: “Mr. Glass, this is personal because somebody died because he looked like me.” Our students are hurting. All of them. They are our family, and we love them. We are proud to be a Department that has always put the holistic care and support of our students first, which is all the more important in tough times.

"We can’t let ourselves be content to send the Floyd family our “thoughts and prayers” and then lapse into moving on to other things, or we will be condemning ourselves to continuing to endure these kinds of atrocities, and George Floyd’s death will have been in vain. While almost any action seems insufficient given the overwhelming challenge that racism poses to all of us, that can’t deter us into inaction. We need to be the change we want to see in the world.

"As a start, last night, Athletic Director-Designate Scott Dolson, Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator Mattie White, and I had a Zoom meeting with the Athletic Director’s Council on Diversity and Inclusivity, which I founded in 2016. The sharing by these students was very powerful and valuable and will continue to inform us as we move forward. 

"The Council and I will co-host this week a Zoom meeting conversation for all interested student-athletes about their experiences and perspectives on George Floyd’s death, what it means to them, and how we should move forward as individuals and as part of IU Athletics. We will also host this week a similar conversation for our head coaches as well as one for all interested IU Athletics staff. The IU Athletics Office of Counseling and Sport Psychology will be reaching out to all of our coaches and students to make available mental health services tailored to address the trauma we know is being generated by George Floyd’s death and its aftermath.

"We also continue to stand ready to help our students find and express their voice on these and other important public matters. We respect and support the right of our students to engage in free speech and peaceful protests. Indiana University’s position on this is clear. The Indiana University Student Code of Conduct guarantees all IU students the right, among other things, to express thoughts and opinions on any subject without university interference or fear of university disciplinary action as well as the right to engage in peaceful and orderly protests and demonstrations.

"There are no easy or simple ways to fight racism or secure racial justice and equality, but that can’t be a reason not to try. I am confident that by sharing with each other and working together we can make a meaningful difference in IU Athletics and beyond.''

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