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Ex-Syracuse Athlete Group Launches Anti-Racism Social Media Campaign

Black Oranges, a group of former Syracuse University (SU) student athletes of color, launched the social media campaign #GetOffTheBench on July 4th to encourage others to act against systemic racism.

After Ahmaud Arbery was murdered in February, former SU football player Athleticsheader750x340Brian Tarrant wanted to organize with others who were “angry.” He sent a Facebook message to his former college teammates, which then spread to other sports. Over a six-week period, more than 200 people supported the cause, including former SU track player Monica Belt, who now serves as one of the primary organizers for Black Oranges, reports

As part of the campaign, the group posted a list of reading materials and ways to take action within local communities on its website.

“It started as a Facebook message; it started as a phone call,” Belk said to “But as we got to talking, all of our spirits are in a place of, ‘We need to make this better in our own communities, in the Syracuse community and across the world.’ If we can reach that far, that’s what our plan is.”

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American sport has always served as a platform for resistance and has been measured and critiqued by how it responds in critical moments of racial and social crises.
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A New Track: Fostering Diversity and Equity in Athletics