The year 2020 has been one that all of us will never forget.
The bonds amongst us as humans have been strained immensely by a pandemic, racial injustice, and a looming election that is sure to be a turning point for the future as the country heads deeper into the 21st Century. Often I ask myself, “What can you, as a 20-year-old college student, do to enact change in your community?”
This is a question that can be answered in many different ways but the only concrete conclusion that I have come to is, “Something.”
Many times we often think that our voice is not heard because the people who are running our cities, states, and country often don’t look, talk, or act like us. This is a moment in time where it is immensely important for our voice to be heard regardless of our political values or backgrounds. As an athlete on campus here at Siena, our time to be heard is now.
Athletes across the country at every level are coming together to fight for something bigger than themselves or their sport, they’re coming together to fight for what is right. Many people only see athletes as robots who lace up their sneakers or cleats on game day and after the television is turned off, they just shut down and wait for another game. This is the farthest thing from the truth.
Although we do spend an immense amount of time focusing on our sport, we spend more time being human. The issues that athletes across the world are fighting for are not issues that they should seemingly stand back on, we are just as much citizens of the United States as any other person. I think we as athletes should join these discussions because our platform and voice can amplify a certain issue that needs fighting for.
Even on a campus as small as Siena, our actions and voices can be heard not only within our Siena community but also in the surrounding area. If every college student on a college campus used their voice, regardless of what their unique message was, it would captivate the surrounding areas and communities. It would create an atmosphere for discussion and conversation that would be unavoidable, and thus become something that we as Americans would work through to come out stronger.
This message does not and should not have to only come from the mouths of athletes, it needs to come from every young person. Use your voice, what you do now affects how you will live in thirty years. This idea is one that seems far-fetched, but in reality, if every young person asked themselves, “What can you, as a 20 year old college student, do to enact change in your community?”
I can guarantee you that something beneficial would come from it not only on your college campus but across the nation.