As racial justice issues have taken center stage across sports in the last several months, the Big 12 recently released a message from athletes captioned, “Listen. Educate. Act.”
“You cheer for us on the field,” the athletes say. “Now cheer for us beyond it. Hear the voices of Black Americans. We cannot change the past, but we can protect the future. Hear the voices. Hear the voices of our families, of our friends, our allies. It takes all of us — Black, white, everyone, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting racism out. Together, we can mend what has been broken. Differences can no longer divide us, but we can protect the future. The future is now. Be the change. Raise your voice. United, we will rise. It takes all of us. Stand up. Raise your voice.”
To support that mission, the Big 12 decided to create a black Unity sticker that each team will wear on the back of their helmets. For Texas, it’s placed just in the middle, just above the number.
Players are also allowed to wear a message on their uniform this season, according to head coach Tom Herman last week.
“Our leadership council decided that rather than 120 different messages, we were going to have one unified message that was going to be agreed upon by the team and sewn into a patch on the front of their jerseys,” Herman said.
Herman wasn’t ready to share that message at the time, but the team revealed it on Saturday — “We Are One.”