Irving, Texas – In advance of the 2020 football season, the Big 12 Conference released its public service announcement (PSA), You See Us Differently. In an ongoing effort to confront racism and social injustice, Big 12 student-athletes lent their voices to a series of 30- and 60-second ads.
“Systemic racism is a very real issue in our country, and unfortunately it continues to affect the everyday lives of many Americans,” said TCU Chancellor and Big 12 Conference Board of Directors Chairman Victor Boschini. “The Big 12 Conference is utilizing its platforms to keep this issue top-of-mind so we can collectively help put an end to racism.”
You See Us Differently illustrates how millions of fans come together to cheer for and support the student-athletes of their favorite teams when on the field, and yet some fans still don't see those same student-athletes as equal off the field.
“It takes all Americans to combat racism, and work toward true equity and social justice,” said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “We recognize that using the voices of those affected to articulate a strong message may make some people uncomfortable. The Conference supports our student-athletes and we join them in this effort. If we are to eradicate racism, difficult conversations will play a part. We embrace the opportunity to use our platforms to facilitate the needed dialogue.”
Since May, the Big 12 and its member institutions have worked to create, administer and execute a multi-faceted diversity and inclusion plan. Beyond the PSA campaign, other activities include:
● Chief Diversity Officers: Comprised of senior campus executives representing each of the 10 member institutions to enhance the experience of black student-athletes.
● Black Student-Athlete Council: One male and one female student-athlete from each campus works hand-in-hand with the Chief Diversity Officer on diversity and inclusion efforts and programs.
● Voter Registration: Development of a voter registration program with built-in accountability mechanisms and resources that ensure student-athletes have every opportunity to cast a ballot.
● Internship Program: Initiating a new program that pairs student-athletes of color with corporate opportunities.
● Uniforms: Option for teams to include a Conference approved and uniformed social justice/unity game-jersey patch or helmet sticker, and slogans on warm-up shirts. Additionally, a Big 12-branded unity helmet sticker will also be featured.
● Unity Messages: Each campus will incorporate a Unity Message into its pre-game run of show. Messages can include PA announcements, and student-athlete videos, which will run prior to the start of competition.
Over 40 football student-athletes are featured in the You See Us Differently spots. Separate ads will be produced in the voices of women’s basketball, men’s basketball and Olympic sport Big 12 athletes. The Conference will use the majority of its PSA inventory to air these ads during the athletic year and will also create football sport specific ads for each member institution. These ads will run during broadcast of Big 12 Conference controlled inventory on ESPN/ABC and FOX platforms, and Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
For more information
Visit https://big12.us/3bSzKCt to view the PSA.
--- Big 12 Press Release ---