LSU Your Athletes are not Employees. : ThyBlackMan

Monday, December 17, 2018

LSU Your Athletes are not Employees.

May 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, News, Opinion, Politics, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( Businesses have a right to impose rules regarding their employees, and protest, to protect their brand. Many of us can understand that concept. When a company chooses this right ALL their employees will be made aware of the policy, and are expected to comply. It is not a new practice for businesses to separate social issues from work practice. The bottom line is the employee will comply or they will lose their livelihood. Considering the outcome of the Alton Sterling case that resulted in the officers involved facing no charges some businesses felt the need to safeguard their brand in the wake of protest. It was obvious that civil unrest in Baton Rouge was the climate, and no one could predict the degree of protest nor the manner.

Louisiana State University felt it was okay to put parameters on what their athletes could wear should they choose to exercise their right to protest. The senior associate athletics director Miriam Segar addressed LSUs 350 plus athletes expressing that the students had a right to protest and let their voices be heard. However, if they planned to protest that need not wear LSU paraphernalia when doing so.

“A Message from LSU Athletics,” which was obtained from:

I hope this message finds you well. This afternoon, the US Department of Justice announced that the Alton Sterling case will not be prosecuted by federal authorities. As members of the Athletics community, we want to support each of you and assure you that the University will maintain a safe learning and working environment for us all.

If there is anything you need, please communicate with us. Also please know that if you need to talk at any time, we have counselors available at [redacted].

We know this is a subject that many of you care deeply about and we respect and support your right to speak publicly and express your opinions.

If you choose to express your opinions publicly, please remember the following:

As student-athletes, you are some of LSU’s most visible ambassadors. Many of you enjoy a large following and with that comes responsibility. Remember that what you say and do directly impacts how people around the world view LSU.

IMPORTANT: If you choose to express your opinion on this issue, including on social media, we ask that you do not wear LSU gear or use LSU branding.

Show respect for your teammates and your coaches with what you say. Understand they may have different views than your own and many have personal connections and feelings about this case. Lean on and support each other as a team.

We expect this to be a very sensitive situation with heavy scrutiny from both local and national media. Remember that public comments on this topic may be their first and only impression of you.

Your safety is our biggest priority. Please avoid potentially violent situations and report any concerns to police (911, or 578-3231 for LSUPD).

Some people saw no problems at all with this directive, but the underlying problem is much larger. One could as if LSU wanted to protect its brand why wasn’t this email sent to the entire student body? The problem is they don’t want LSU branding present at the protest, right? This university, and others like it, make millions off their athletes and those athletes are not paid employees.

All athletes do not get full ride athletic scholarships…yes that includes football players. These athletes are students first and what they receive from the university does not equate to the amount of money made off them. Singling out the students you make money off is not a good look LSU. Maybe the university is concerned that their private donors and alumni wouldn’t appreciate seeing LSU t-shirts on the backs of their athletes at a protest rally whereby a man was murdered. One would think students, of all kinds, standing up to injustice in their community would be a good look…except when a black person is murdered by the police. How does this diminish how LSU is viewed worldwide? This letter reads as though the wellbeing and reputation of the athlete is of concern. Honestly, the athletic department just doesn’t seem to want its brand to reflect standing against the police…even when they commit murder.

LSU, a public institution of education, is a business indeed but their athletes are not employees. The athletic department is build off the backs of their athletic ability…sound familiar. It’s not over reaching to say LSU athletics should rethink its priorities. It’s not over reaching to accuse them of being concerned about their brand more than the murder of a human being. Informing their athletes that they indeed that the right to protest, and acknowledging the sensitivity of the situation does not negate the insensitivity in the need to protect the LSU “brand”. Once the news of this email broke the rumors began that Southern University, which hosted Alton Sterling’s funeral, gave a similar directive. However, substantial documentation of such has not been seen.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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One Response to “LSU Your Athletes are not Employees.”
  1. LSU Fan! says:

    Black Athletes = Modern Day Slaves.
    Not at all.

    Rep your university and leave politics alone.

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