By: Diane Benjamin
H/t a reader
This is the same Larry Lyons who somehow got his son hired in the athletics department and then said son married a fellow employee – making three all related people working in the small ISU athletics department. No nepotism of course – even when the wedding took place on the baseball field: https://blnnews.com/2014/07/15/isu-how-do-they-get-by-with-this/
Yesterday good ole Larry decided to write a letter to his fellow Redbirds: https://goredbirds.com/news/2020/8/3/general-amessage-from-larry-lyons.aspx
I write today, hoping that you and your families are staying safe and healthy. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing all of us to face unprecedented obstacles and navigate through previously unheard of challenges. It is especially troubling that this international crisis comes at a time when national racial tensions seem at an all-time high. I know many of you are hurting and are searching for answers to the almost incomprehensible violence that is shaking the very foundation of humanity. The horrific and preventable deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and so many others has led to protests and demonstrations sweeping our nation and is tearing at each and every one of us. Such violence has also provided a troubling backdrop to the politicized debate over flags, monuments, and other artifacts that are positioned as examples of American heritage but are in reality, symbols of slavery, racism, and intolerance.
As members of the Redbird community, I ask that you do your part to speak out and act out against injustices taking place in our community, state, and nation. We’ve heard from many of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and alumni about what they are feeling and experiencing; we hear you and pledge to become more active participants on issues involving racism, anti-blackness, and other forms of systemic bigotry that go against our University’s core values of diversity and inclusion—under its strategic plan, Educate*Connect*Elevate.
It is during this difficult time that we need to come together, remain united, and support our friends, families and communities that are frustrated and hurting. The Illinois State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is committed to fostering a culture and community that embraces diversity and inclusion for all. It is our moral duty to utilize our platform to stand up against racial and social injustice. We must unite to create meaningful and impactful change. We can make this a defining moment in our nation’s history and I have been encouraged by the way our student-athletes, coaches, and staff are speaking up and actively advocating for change. I want our Redbird student-athletes, coaches, and staff to know that I support them for actively advocating for change and to continue speaking up and be a part of the conversation to dismantle racial and social injustice.
None of us has all the answers, but we will continue to seek them together. It is my job along with that of our leadership team to LISTEN and to create an action plan to be put into place. I’ve asked that some within our leadership team be the driving forces behind our action plan, which has already been set into motion, and to come up with immediate, short term, and long term goals for our department regarding diversity and inclusion.
We have already been engaged in discussion and ongoing dialogue with our students-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni and community/civic leaders. With their voices, we will be inspired and motivated to create an impactful plan moving forward. These plans will be thoughtful, thorough, aspirational, and sustainable.
Join us Redbirds, as we all look at what we can do individually and as a collective to bring the change that is necessary for the justice of all.
Black Lives Matter.
Social Justice Warrior (or panderer) Lyons never mentions all the police killed in the line of duty. He never mentions all the blacks killing blacks in democrat controlled cities. He sounds more like a guy who thinks the police are hunting blacks.
Does Larry know “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” never happened and he is lamenting the death of a guy who tried to take an officer’s gun and probably would have killed him with it?
Any death is tragic especially when simply complying with the police would have prevented many good ole Larry mentioned. Does he ever tell that to his athletes? What kind of “action plan” changes feelings? Why are lots of minorities wildly successful? Maybe the “Action Plan” should include education on how not to assume every micro-aggression is caused by race. Maybe add a course in judging people by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin. Of course ISU would have to quit paying race baiters to speak at their MLK events.
Larry Lyons need to resign. This is a despicable display of playing every side of issues. I am part of the Redbird community because I graduated from ISU. Lyons is contributing to a racial divide instead of stating facts. We aren’t #StrongerTogether, Lyons version of diversity does exactly what it is intended to do: DIVIDE.
With comments like this I hope Lyons never needs to call 911. Why would the police show up?