Our community is in pain right now. While the recent protests in our city have arisen from our shared outrage over last week’s killing of George Floyd, the pain goes much deeper than that. Years of inequity, injustice, discrimination, and bias have caused this pain and it must no longer be ignored. The black and brown members of our family deserve better.
What I have always been proudest of about Fearless Athletics is that it’s a place where anyone who walks through our doors feels safe and welcomed regardless of their skin color, nationality, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, ability, belief system or political affiliation. We have been able to accomplish something that is pretty unique in this world today: we bond over our similarities rather than letting our differences divide us. My experiences at Fearless Athletics have taught me – and I have endeavored to pass on to the Fearless community, both staff and members – that there is great power in the shared experience of working toward a common goal; and that the more difficult a challenge is, the more of an equalizer it becomes. I have seen our family of members come together in so many ways to demonstrate this. We lift each other up on a daily basis, no matter the circumstances. It is more important now than ever to continue to lift one another up, and to lead from within our larger community.
As I’ve been watching the events of the past week unfold across the country, I’ve been looking for the true leaders: those who listen, empathize, try to understand, and lead their communities and the Nation forward. We need leaders who are willing to admit when they are wrong, and try to learn and do better as a result. We need leaders who seek to unite for change rather than divide. I am grateful to see countless leaders emerge from protest organizers & participants, police chiefs and officers, local government officials, and everyday citizens who are demanding change. Sadly, we are also witnessing too many examples of elected officials who refuse to see that we must change. All we have to do is turn on the local news to witness violent acts and crimes being committed against innocent victims. We must all do more. We must all BE more. In the absence of clear leadership from those who have been elected, we must each do more as members of our community and citizens of our state and nation, to become the leaders that we need.
There are many who prefer that we remain divided. They try to divide us through fear: fear of a different race or nationality, fear of a political agenda, fear of anything that is “other”. We, however, are FEARLESS. We know how to unite. We know we are all part of the same family. We believe in the concepts of fairness, equality, and doing what is right. We know how to do the hard work, together, to achieve great things that we had not thought possible. Our community is calling upon us to do that now.
I’d like to believe that all of us want the same things no matter what we look like, who we love, or what belief system we hold:
- We want to be heard – understanding that being heard includes listening in equal amounts
- We want justice – understanding that justice includes equal and fair application of the law to all
- We want equality – understanding that equality includes our own acceptance of others
- We want compassion – understanding that compassion includes forgiveness where appropriate
- Most of all, we want the opportunity to live our lives without fear.
I know that this is possible. Our Fearless Family has shown me that. Please, as you interact with others today and going forward, set the example of how to lead in our community and how to be FEARLESS.