Author: Joseph Cooper

Running back Lyle McCombs

Op-ed: Coach’s Firing Won’t Solve College Football’s Deepest Problems

November 1, 2018

Maryland college football coach DJ Durkin was ultimately fired after the death of a player during practice – and findings that his players were bullied and abused by coaches and staff over the course his three-year tenure. However, his 11th hour ouster on Oct. 31 is evidence of how much the culture of college football still needs to change.

This culture encourages players to ignore signs of physical or mental exhaustion and is present across the college football landscape, not just at Maryland.

Running back Lyle McCombs

Dangerous Stereotypes Stalk Black College Athletes

August 21, 2018

If you go strictly by the official account, heatstroke was the cause of death for University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair. McNair died earlier this year following a grueling practice in which training staff failed to properly diagnose and treat his condition.

But there’s another culprit – or at least a contributing factor – that should not be overlooked.

As I argue in my forthcoming book – “From Exploitation Back to Empowerment: Black Male Holistic (Under) Development Through Sport and (Mis) Education” – what threatens black college athletes such as McNair is not just the brutal treatment to which they are subjected on the field.

ThinkStock Photo of Hands

A Message From the Equity and Social Justice Task Force

January 20, 2017

As members of the Equity and Social Justice Task Force, we believe that the new social and political context created by the presidential election requires not only that we reiterate these commitments, but also that we, the Equity and Social Justice Task Force, acknowledge and empathize with the many individuals and groups in our community who are experiencing a considerable amount of pain, fear, and concern for their safety.

A Call for a Language Shift: From Covert Oppression to Overt Empowerment

December 7, 2016

With increasing shifts in racial and ethnic demographics in the United States, the national conversation on diversity and inclusion is ever evolving. Several terms have become commonplace in identifying racial and ethnic groups that are disadvantaged by interlocking, oppressive systems, such as White supremacy, patriarchy, and neoliberal capitalism. Among the most popular phrases currently used to describe groups that have been historically underserved based on their race is “People of Color.” Another common term used to describe these groups is “minorities.” One intention behind using these terms is to emphasize the overlapping or shared experiences with discrimination, marginalization, and oppression on the basis of racial, ethnic, and/or cultural identities.

University of Missouri Athlete Activism Dispels the Myth of a Post-Racial U.S. Society

November 20, 2015

Too often, Black college athletes are referenced in negative commentary, whether in relation to low-graduation rates or NCAA sanctions. Contrary to commonly distorted perspectives, the University of Missouri (UM) football players’ actions in recent weeks epitomize the purpose of higher education, which is to stimulate critical thought and cultivate change. The protests by the UM […]