GSM Live Insights: Tough Conversations In 2021
New year, tough conversations. As the pandemic, racial injustice, and political tension remain on the radar in 2021, it’s important to discuss strategies in navigating major personal and social transformations. The last year proved sport is a powerful tool for progress, but that it also has room for improvement. Jeremy Goldberg, Ashland Johnson, and Dr. Wilsa Charles Malveaux join Global Sport Matters to talk about the future of youth sports, public policy, and mental health.
“How can you deny something that’s so important to so many?”
Jeremy Goldberg is the president of League Apps, a sports technology company that supports youth and local sports management. He stresses the importance of recognizing how societal issues are reflected in youth sport and that there needs to be multifaceted solutions to address the problem. It’s a matter of expanding opportunities and ensuring equity.
“It’s getting people into that mindset of not assuming, and creating a culture that’s open and welcoming.”
Ashland Johnson is an attorney, activist, and founder of The Inclusion Playbook. She highlights legislation like “Save Women’s Sports” bills whichare passed under the guise of uplifting women when they are actually designed to oppress transgender athletes. Johnson emphasizes the importance of calling your representatives, holding policymakers accountable, sticking up for LGBTQ+ athletes, and creating a supportive and inclusive environment on and off the field.
“Practicing gratitude is an opportunity for us to take better control over the thoughts that we’re having.”
Dr. Wilsa Charles Malveaux is a sports psychiatrist who emphasizes that in the midst of an incredibly stressful time for everyone, it’s important to be aware of your mental health. It’s not a sign of weakness to get help. Implementing practices such as gratitude and a structured routine can help children, athletes, and their families in an absence of normalcy.
As we flip the calendar from 2020 to 2021, it is easy to think that things will simply return to ‘normal.’ A vaccine has begun rolling out, professional sports are coming back – sans bubbles – but last year has proved to us that sport will not be the same going forward.
We spent a lot of last year learning about racial inequities, humanizing athletes and acknowledging the need for change. Coming into this new year, how do we move from acknowledgement into action? And what are the tough conversations we need to have in sport for 2021?
It’s time to have the those conversations on mental health, youth sport and DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion). On this show we talked with experts who are doing the work to create solutions that impact the future of sport.