Home » USA W: AVCA President about treatment of African American coaches in NCAA – “We‘ve been marginalized”

USA W: AVCA President about treatment of African American coaches in NCAA – “We‘ve been marginalized”

by WoV
source: avca.org, volleyballmag.com; Photo: Butler/volleyballmag.com

At the moment, the United States is in the spotlight of the world’s public due to George Floyd protests. Many people across the country from all areas of living and businesses take part in it, including those connected with volleyball.



The ongoing protests across the United States that started at the end of May and followed the death of African American George Floyd by police in Minnesota are supported by the human rights movement Black Lives Matter (movement against violence and racism towards black people in America). They are also supported by many people of different races and occupations. African Americans keep spreading their unpleasant experiences which they had because of their skin color. The current president of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA, the body that gathers college coaches), Sharon Clark, shared her in a piece “Through My Lens” published on the AVCA website.

“Let me give the view through my lens. As an African American woman, I have spent my entire professional career uncomfortable in college athletics. I love the sport of volleyball and have gained so much from it, but coaching has left me with many scars in my life. So many colleagues thought nothing of how I felt on a daily basis. How their insensitive comments, lack of understanding, and politically incorrect behavior became a daily grind for me. After 25+ years of leading my teams, I still go to an airport to check in with a gate agent and be asked: ‘Who is in charge?’ or ‘Where is the head coach?’ (Don’t you see me standing in front of you with 20 tickets?) We have been marginalized, passed over, stepped on, ignored, and yes, called the ‘N’ word while simply doing our jobs. We call it ‘Coaching while Black,’” Clark, who’s also the head coach of Butler University volleyball team – the Bulldogs, wrote.

Currently, there are five black men coaching in the highest women’s collegiate competition, NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Tournament. As for female African Americans, there are 16 of them commanding teams in this competition.



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