By Michaela Gilmer
Growing up, I remember my dad taking me to see the University of Oregon’s women’s basketball games. Unlike my two older sisters, I was fascinated by the game and tagged along with my dad and my brothers to any sporting event I could. Since I was little, I have loved watching sports.
However, I realize now that there is much more to loving sports than simply watching the game. The sports industry is growing and changing all the time. There is this idea that the sports industry is a straightforward, one-sided business. The reality is sports are made up of individuals who all choose to come together and work as a team. Whether it is the coaches, athletes, industry employees, etc., these individuals all come together to play the same game; it does not exempt the fact that those individuals are still people with individual needs, desires and beliefs.
In 2014, many athletes and allies are both continuing and beginning to take a stand for many challenging issues facing college and professional athletes. There are many reporters, activists and organizations dedicated to helping athletes and the sports industry as a whole progress.
Desmond Howard is an ESPN sports analyst who openly shares his strong views and opinions about current issues facing both college and professional athletes.
Richard Sherman plays cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks. Prior to SuperBowl XLVIII, Sherman received a lot of negative press and outrage from his fan base. Since then, Sherman has written numerous pieces about the issues of racism and prejudice he and many other players are victims of.
The You Can Play Project is dedicated to finding equality for LGBTQ athletes.
Sports business reporter, attorney, author and sports management instructor, Kristi Dosh, focuses on the intersection of college sports as business.
Kain Colter of the The College Athlete Players Association strives to assure all college athletes have a voice and are being taken care of.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is America’s Union Movement who advocate for a college athletes union.