What are we supposed to do in times like these ?
Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.
Yesterday, I checked Twitter for a moment in between phone calls, and saw this statement, issued by the Pac-12:
Pac-12 Statement regarding on-going conflict in Ukraine:
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12)
Mar 2, 2022
Nothing about that statement seems particularly controversial, right? But I have to admit, I was a little confused when I saw it. After all, the Pac-12 is an athletics conference, not a state actor. It does not have significant business dealings with Russia or Ukraine. It does not host championship events in those locations. It's a noble statement, sure, but was anybody asking themselves, I wonder what the Pac-12 thinks about all of this? Is this...I don't know...performative?
But on the other hand...well, why wouldn't they have a statement? Certainly there are Ukrainian students, as well as Russian students, who compete at Pac-12 institutions. The schools themselves, which make up the Pac-12, have all sorts of academic and businesses interests in the region that might make public action required. Why wouldn't the Pac-12 have something to say?
It's one thing to consider our own personal responsibility in the face of catastrophe and tragedy. It's another to consider organizational and institutional responsibilities.
Does college sports have any responsibilities in the face of war and global conflict? What should it be doing?
I don't know if I have the right answer. But I did come up with a framework that might be useful.
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