Missouri State’s director of athletics is taking aggressive steps to increase the diversity awareness within the entire sports structure at the University.
AD Kyle Moats announced Thursday the launch of a new educational initiative intended to promote “values inclusion of diversity, tolerance and social responsibility.”
“We have the capacity to make things better,” Moats said in a statement. “From a very young age, athletics provides a unique training ground for people to work together with others from different backgrounds and beliefs. In our current environment, that’s an asset that can be utilized to make a difference. We can be leaders on our campus and in our community while establishing a stronger foundation for all of our programs here.”
Moats outlined three initial steps for the program:
- Required annual diversity and sensitivity training for all athletic department employees and student-athletes
- Development of a community engagement program to increase Missouri State student-athlete involvement in local schools and youth sports programs
- Establishment a formal procedure for student-athletes and staff to report discriminatory behavior of any kind, while utilizing existing campus resources when needed to advise students who have experienced discrimination
Moats released a statement to the press about the events of the last week:
Like most Americans, as I have had time to reflect on the events of this past week, my thoughts have covered the gamut. From disbelief, anger, sorrow and disappointment, I’ve felt the entire range.
As you can imagine, we have had some of our coaches and family members passionately articulate their feelings. I welcome and support their voices in these difficult times. I’m proud that we have coaches who care and want to make a difference for the student-athletes they lead and the families they represent. Our department stands by them and is committed to making a difference.
We don’t have all the answers. But I know I have the ability and the responsibility to make a difference to our staff and the 400 student-athletes on our campus to make them better citizens and better human beings. We are a diverse group of people who represent many races, nationalities, religions, economic backgrounds, political beliefs and values. But, when we compete to represent Missouri State, we are all one.
I am committed to the development of programs to better educate our staff & student-athletes; to be more prominent in the community and making youth aware of these important issues; and promoting tolerance and accountability for all. I promise we will use our platform to make things better. Valuing the inclusion of diversity is everybody’s responsibility. It’s the right thing to do and we’re going to do our part.”