On Nov. 2, the athletic department DEI committee — led by assistant director of athletic counseling Abigail Eiler — gave department coaches and staff the option to include the same logo in their email signature.
Courtney Bostic, a recent alumna of the Wolverines’ women’s track and field program, created Women Uplifting Women in 2019 for female Michigan athletes in response to what she felt was a pressing issue.
On the panel Johnson showed no signs of discomfort when speaking with the fellow panelists on the issues that face him as a Black man in society. Whether it was about using his image and platform, his personal experiences or even when a young kid simply asked him if he got nerves while playing football, he spoke like someone who had done this before.
TEDxUofM hosted the salon via Zoom, titling the event “Race in Sports: The Black Athletic Experience.” The four panelists included Johnson, professor of Sports Management and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the School of Kinesiology Dr. Ketra Armstrong, Sports Management Ph.D. Elena Simpkins and former Michigan volleyball player Elliot Brooks.
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.