Race Thompson among Big Ten Coalition representatives

The Big Ten Conference announced the members of its Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition on Monday, which includes student-athletes, coaches, athletic directors, chancellors, presidents representing all 14 member institutions. The Big Ten also formally launched a Voter Registration Initiative that has been in the works since February.

The Coaltion was first announced by conference commissioner Kevin Warren on June 1, following the death of George Floyd. The stated goal is “to seek tangible ways to actively and constructively combat racism and hate around the world while also empowering student-athletes to express their rights to free speech and peaceful protest.

A total of eight representatives from Indiana are on the Coalition, including men’s basketball player Race Thompson as one of two student-athletes. Thompson, who will be a junior at IU, is from the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area where Floyd was killed.

The other Hoosiers are volleyball coach Steve Aird, Deputy Director of Athletics and soon to be AD Scott Dolson, wrestling coach Angel Escobedo, swimmer Savanna Spears, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Engagement and Sports Performance Anthony Thompson, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Academic Services and Excellence Mattie White and faculty athletics representative C. Kurt Zorn.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to use my platform as a student-athlete to combat hate and racism in our country,” said Spears, a junior from Saint John, Indiana. “It is so important that we go out and vote, so that all of our voices can be heard.”