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Pro, Collegiate Coaches, Athletes Join Campaign For Inclusion, Diversity

Oct 25, 2019, 11:01 AM | Updated: 3:06 pm
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks on prior to the start of Game Three of Round Two of the...
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks on prior to the start of Game Three of Round Two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at Vivint Smart Home Arena on May 4, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Professional and collegiate sports teams in Utah  joined together for a campaign against racism and “hate of any kind” called “Lead Together.”

College coaches, including Kyle Whittingham, Gary Andersen and Kalani Sitake joined the Utah Jazz, Utah Royals and Real Salt Lake athletes to deliver a message of community culture and inclusion.

Other notable athletes on the campaign include olympian Nathan Chen, Major League Baseball star Mike Trout and PGA Tour golfer Tony Finau. Trout represents the Salt Lake Bees.

The video begins with Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell explaining that while winning is a priority, some lines can never be crossed.

“No one wins when respect goes away,” Whittingham followed up.

The campaign encourages fans of all teams to “speak up” when they hear something hateful or hurtful and to be mindful of the way they speak to others.

“Opposing teams are not our enemies,” Sitake stated in the video.

“They are our competition,” Whittingham concluded.

The array of Utah’s own professional athletes and coaches reminded fans that they have the power to make a positive impact and move toward a more positive, inclusive and empowering environment.

The video features a segment where Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovic and a member of the Utah Royals speak, “I’m taking the lead,” in their native languages.

“If we all take the lead together,” said Conley.

“Hate falls behind,” Gobert concluded the video.

“Everyone who walks through the doors of a sporting event, whether it’s a fan, staff member, coach, player, or guest, should expect courtesy, respect, common decency and civility. We are united in our values, and we’re all joining together as citizens of our communities and the state of Utah to make a clear statement about who we are and what we’re about. Words matter. No one wins when respect goes away,” said owner of the Utah Jazz, Gail Miller.

According to the website for the campaign, there are two missions.

First, fostering an inclusive and safe environment, free of racism, hate speech or taunting.

Second, to educate and promote diversity, inclusion and belonging in our community.

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