The Pac-12 Players are standing in unity, demanding reform among other asks in a recent, much-discussed stance on returning to college football during a global pandemic. The coronavirus is not the only reason they’re standing up in unity, but it certainly is a catalyst as the players are being asked to risk it all during a major health crisis with no real health or safety guidelines, and lack of medical support.
They’re asking for much, much more, as I’ve detailed over on Pacific Takes. And while I stand with the Pac-12 Players, including current California Golden Bears offensive lineman Valentino Daltoso, I am not the only one. And in fact, Daltoso is not the only Cal Bear to stand in unity publically.
Great to see these PAC 12 athletes take a stand! Ridiculous they have to ask for these things! #WeAreUnited— Evan Weaver™ (@Weavin_it) August 2, 2020
Former Cal linebacker Evan Weaver voiced his opinion on the matter, tagging in with the fact that he too, is United toward the current student-athletes cause.
Daltoso was recently quoted in a Sports Illustrated feature on why over 100 Pac-12 players would be willing to opt out of the 2020 season. And why the coronavirus has been the green light to spurn change.
“The coronavirus has put a spotlight on a lot of the injustices in college athletics,” Daltoso told Sports Illustrated. “The way to affect change and the way to get your voice heard is to affect the bottom line. Our power as players comes from being together. The only way to do this is to do something collectively.”
It also came in a time that the country is in the middle of a civil rights movement, and college athletes are no strangers to racial inequalities. It’s reported in the same Sports Illustrated piece the recent study that the NCAA is ‘robbing predominantly Black Athletes of opportunities to build generational wealth’ and certainly the Black Lives Matter movement is another catalyst.
“Talking about Black Lives Matter as a social issue, the wealth gap is such a huge part of it,” Daltoso said. “Guys who come from low-income backgrounds, when they leave to go school they can go back to having nothing. One small group of people are pulling in all the money when it could go to so many communities.”
This moment isn’t just about 2020, rather about the future generations of college athletes. Daltoso and the other student-athletes verbally speaking with SI recognize the fact that they might not see change during their tenures in college. But they also recognize that the time is now.
“Guys realize the moment and are standing together in unity throughout this whole thing,” Daltoso said. “This is bigger than our individual selves. This is for all future college athletes.”
I stand with the Pac-12 players in Unity. Kudos to them, kudos to you, Valentino. And kudos to you, Evan, for speaking up on their behalf as well.