Op-Ed: Rallying Cry To Framingham Sports Teams

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By Rick Utaegbulam & Tony Tolson

FRAMINGHAM – First, Tony and I would like to thank you all for lending your voice to this mission toward justice.

Framingham prides itself on the diversity it possesses.  I’ll agree that Framingham is diverse, though we have a ways to go before we can acclaim it to reflect diversity.  So, before we can hold America as a whole accountable for upholding its constitutional obligations, let’s press our city, our community to do the same first.

We stand together, to stand up and against injustice everywhere, especially racial injustice against people of color.  Black folk should no longer be issued a death sentence at one’s discretion, only because of the color of our skin.  

I, personally, stand before you fired up for justice, yet furious and pissed off at the lack of love we as black folk receive from a country that claims to be the land of the free and treats everyone equal. I hope you’re just as fired up and upset! 

For, we need the voices of everyone shakin the world’s type of noise in order to evoke change.  But your voices shouldn’t only resonate here.  They need to run rampant in your neighborhoods and social circles as well. For everyone needs to be comfortable being uncomfortable, for change to take place.

The question now is: who’s next?  Which of you is next to use your platform and join this mission? 

Which of you is next to be willing to exchange your privilege for equity and equal rights for all? Cause we need to evaluate, educate, collaborate, in order to overtake. 

What we need to do is evaluate, educate, collaborate, in order to overtake. We must continuously evaluate who’s in this fight, as well as the injustices in our city and nationally. We must educate and empower aspiring advocates for change on how we got here and what true change looks like. We must collaborate with other platforms toward a united, comprehensive vision for equity and equality for all, and resist segregated efforts that only account for an identified few. Then, eventually, we must overtake a current systematically racist structure, to aid in initiating an equable system that empowers everyone to prosper.

So, as we band together today, remember all who have been oppressed, but in particular black folk who have been treated as animals, criminals, and savages, just because of the skin they bare.  This is not community service.  This is an emotionally challenging mission toward justice that we need all of America on, in order to reach its destination.  

We must keep the faith and fight, through making shake the world type of noise, that if nothing else, will lessen the struggle that those behind us will have to endure as they grow. We need every voice in order for America to listen to our cries and demands for justice.

The time for ignoring our anguish is over, the time for just hearing us is over: It’s time to shake the world and Make America great for ONCE and for all!

Please see the challenge below.

A movement of all sports organizations, athletes, and families coming together.

We unite as one to show our support for the most recent shooting incidents involving both Trayford Pellerin and Jacob Blake, and the latest police incident involving Daniel Prude. We also stand in solidarity to remember all of the other black men and women who have lost their lives to senseless police violence.

Together, we unequivocally declare our support for racial equality in our City of Framingham. 

We demand this of our local Government, Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Public Works, Schools, and Sports Programs (Youth and High School).

Someone, who has been a close friend and coaching buddy for 20 years, has always said “Framingham has the most diversity in our league, so let’s represent Framingham well”. 

We should see that same diversity in every aspect across our City.

Every voice matters in order for justice and change to be achieved. 

You are strongly encouraged to make a sign, decorate clothing, wear team clothing, or anything in good taste to come out and show your support.

The planning was to schedule a rally to come together to show our support, but with the City’s updated status level to red! coming together at this time would not be practicing social distancing.

The Mayor asked the City to please “refrain from hosting and attending large gatherings” so we will adhere to this request.

We invite the following sports organizations, athletes, coaches, Board of Directors and families to come together to show Solidarity, by issuing the Black Lives Matter to Framingham Athletes Challenge.

How does the challenge work?

Come together as an organization, family or individual to support Black Lives. Make a sign and take a picture with it or post a video, however, you can be creative to show your support, and post it to #blmtoframinghamathletes

Editor’s Note: SOURCE invites families & sports organizations to send photos and video to the media outlet for publication. Put #blmtoframinghamathletes in the subject line and email editor@framinghamsource.com

We are not able to be at our fields, courts or gyms, and we have limited contact with the athletes.

We would like our board to purchase helmet stickers and rubber bracelets, and maybe bows for the girls.

We won’t have the chance to use these items this year, but we’ll have them in the future to show our support! 

Please extend this invite to any other organizations/

Thank you for your support if you choose to participate.

Tony Tolson and Rick Utaegbulam are Framingham residents.

editor

email: editor@FraminghamSource.com call or text at 508-315-7176

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