First, the news:
The #BIGEAST continues our Anti-Racism efforts with a series of actions to #BETheChange.— BIG EAST Conference (@BIGEAST) August 19, 2020
In the 2020-21 season, men's and women's teams will wear a Black Lives Matter patch on uniforms.
We also officially support the efforts of @coaches4action.
: https://t.co/yDySNVlwuh pic.twitter.com/2DAG32x8VO
The facts are laid out pretty clearly in that tweet and the one the Big East threaded to it. The conference's position is clearly lain out in the final tweet when they affirm that "for us, BLM means the safety, dignity, and well-being of all Black people are non-negotiable rights."
That seems like a stance that goes without saying, but it doesn't. You may recall that 160 years ago, our nation went to war with itself on the basis of whether or not it was okay to own black people like cattle. Within living memory, battles were fought in the courts and on the streets about whether or not it was legal to deny people basic rights and services on the basis of nothing more than the color of their skin. Much progress has been made, but there is a lot of ground left to cover.
To address some of the pushback already floating around in the replies to that tweet: this is in support of the idea that black lives matter, not the organization BLM. BLM is not a terrorist organization. If you don't align ideologically with their platform - and I don't entirely - it might bear asking why black people feel they have to go so far afield to find support for their basic humanity. If you want a platform that affirms black personhood without some of the ancillary positions of BLM, feel free to start the movement.
This is not an anti-police position. If you want to #BackTheBlue, treat everyone around you really, really well. Better than they deserve. The vast bulk of what the cops have to deal with comes people who aren't able to find a way to communicate with one another peacefully. Instead of letting a position you don't like offend and irritate you, try to make time to learn where the people who espouse it are coming from. Even if you don't find a way to agree, it will probably spare the police coming out to iron out another neighbor dispute or take a report on someone's broken window.
In a society in any circumstances, we are inextricably linked to one another. A better life for my neighbor means a better life for me, and for all of us. The kid who sees this patch and feels in some small way that the tide of culture is shifting to sympathize with his or her struggle may one day go on to do great things, or be encouraged to not pursue harmful things.
My dad, a long time member of the law enforcement community himself, would often summarize his style of interaction with people - some of whom he was arresting - by saying, "doesn't cost me anything to be nice." It doesn't cost me or anyone else anything to see a BLM patch on a Big East jersey. Hopefully it is representative of something more, though, as we continue to try to carve out a society that lives up to the self-evident truths of its founding.