Athletes Become LGBTQ+ Allies

By Sara Few

This year, NCAA Division III devised with the Division III LGBTQ OneTeam Program to educate all DIII student-athletes about LGBTQ inclusion in college athletics. The program strove to teach athletes the correct terminology with a better understanding of the LGBTQ+ community.

In August, NCAA LGBTQ+ working group started the initiative to improve the inclusion of all genders, races, and sexualities. Trainings took place in the month of September and all student-athletes were asked to come and be trained as an ally of LGBTQ+ student athletes.

According to a survey done in 2017, more than 80 percent of athletic and school administrators identified as LGBTQ+ allies, and 60 percent of student-athletes identified as allies of the community.

Athletic Director, Renee Bostic, became a OneTeam Program Facilitator and trained NDMU’s student-athletes, administrators, and coaches. 120 student-athletes, staff, and coaches received training and engaged in conversations from points of view of the LGBTQ+ community.

Each team was asked to hold a OneTeam game this year. Many fall teams have had their OneTeam game to celebrate and show their support of the LGBTQ+ community by wearing ribbons, hanging signs and passing out information in the program at each game.

Athletes also spoke about what they learned from each other and from Renee in the trainings.

NDMU became the spotlight as they were the first DIII school to have all athletic faculty and student-athletes fully OneTeam trained. With that, they earned $500 toward their next initiative with the theme of diversity and inclusivity.

The student population at NDMU is comprised of 40% students of color, making diversity and inclusion more prevalent inside and outside the classroom.

OneTeam

Photo Courtesy ndmgatorsports Instagram

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