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NAACP advises current and future college athletes to reconsider attending public schools in Florida

In a recent open letter, the NAACP advised Black college athletes to reconsider attending public universities in Florida due to the University of Florida’s decision to eliminate its Diversity and Inclusion office.

The university’s action was a response to a law signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last year, which prohibits the use of state or federal funds for diversity programs. This resulted in 13 positions being cut, including the chief diversity officer, and $5 million being reallocated from DEI initiatives.

The NAACP’s letter, signed by chairman Leon W. Russell and CEO Derrick Johnson, was directed towards NCAA President Charlie Baker and college athletes. It warned that other universities may follow suit.

There are six public universities in Florida competing at the FBS level, including Florida, Florida State, Central Florida, South Florida, Florida Atlantic, and Florida International.

Johnson stated, “Florida’s anti-Black policies pose a direct threat to the progress of young people and their success in a global economy.” He emphasized the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in education and urged athletes to consider other options.

The letter aligns with former Gators player Emmitt Smith’s criticism of UF’s decision.

Regarding the closure of the DEI office, the university emphasized its commitment to universal human dignity.

Both the NCAA and the Florida governor’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Gov. DeSantis has previously stated that DEI has no place in public universities.

(Photo: Miami Herald / Tribune News Service via Getty Images)


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