Athletes — tired of being viewed only through their on-field accomplishments — seized on their popularity and their platforms to fight for change on issues they felt were important. For many, that was fighting back against generations of systematic racism and police brutality.
Four days remain until the most anticipated election in recent memory. For the Michigan softball team, this moment serves as a turning point for a better future.
The entire team has registered to vote in this upcoming election and most have voted or plan to vote next Tuesday. It was not an effortless process to get to where they are today. It all started this summer when coach Carol Hutchins came to fifth-year senior outfielder Haley Hoogenraad.
His raw emotion revealed the magnitude of the situation. Juwan Howard joined a small group of Black coaches in college basketball, becoming one of 14 Black head coaches in basketball’s six major conferences, as of 2019, and the only Black head coach in the Big Ten.
At the Division I level, only 11 percent of athletic directors are women, only 18 percent of chancellors/presidents are women, only 20 percent of head athletic trainers and only 24 percent of all head coaches.
Paye and graduate Michigan defensive lineman Carlo Kemp couldn’t stand being complacent, so they decided to take action. The one thing they could control was getting themselves and their team registered to vote.