Nineteen Fifty-Six Vol. 1 No. 5 Winning Season
This is the March Issue of Nineteen Fifty-Six magazine. The theme, Winning Season, highlights sports along with the success of Black athletes.
This is the March Issue of Nineteen Fifty-Six magazine. The theme, Winning Season, highlights sports along with the success of Black athletes.
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You do matter. The numerous achievements and talents of Black
students deserve to be recognized. As of Fall 2019, 10.50% of students
on campus identified as Black or African American. Black students
are disproportionately underrepresented in various areas on campus.
Nineteen Fifty-Six is a Black student-led magazine that amplifies
the voices within the University of Alabama’s Black community. It
also seeks to educate students from all backgrounds on culturallyimportant
issues and topics in an effort to produce socially-conscious,
ethical and well-rounded citizens.
1 NINETEEN FIFTY-SIX MAGAZINE
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
ASSISTANT VISUALS EDITOR
CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE EDITOR
ASSISTANT CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE EDITOR
ASSISTANT ADVERTISING DIRECTOR
DIGITAL MEDIA MANAGER
JAVON WILLIAMS, JASMINE HOLLIE, RACHEL PARKER,
KAYLA BRYAN, ASHLEE WOODS
KENDE’LYN THOMPSON, MALLORY WESTRY, MA’KIA
MOULTON, CASSIDY BURRELL, MADISON DAVIS,
GABBY ADAMS, JOLENCIA JONES, ARMYLL J SMITH,
ASIA ANDERSON , BRADLEY COATS
Nineteen Fifty-Six is published by the Office of Student Media at The
University of Alabama. All content and design are produced by students in
consultation with professional staff advisers. All material contained herein,
except advertising or where indicated otherwise, is copyrighted © 2020 by
Nineteen Fifty-Six magazine. Material herein may not be reprinted without
the expressed, written permission of Nineteen Fifty-Six magazine. Editorial
and Advertising offices for Nineteen Fifty-Six Magazine are located at 414
Campus Drive East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. The mailing address is P.O. Box
870170, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. Phone: (205) 348-7257.
C O P Y R I G H T
lorence Griffith Joyner aka Flo-Jo
is one of my inspirations for more
reasons than one. For those of you
who don’t know, Flo-Jo is the fastest
woman of all time. Both of the world
records she set in 1988 for the 100-meter
dash and the 200-meter dash still stand
today. She is not only a track and field
legend, but also a fashion icon who
captured the attention of the crowd with
her fashionable track uniforms, beauty,
and of course her long nails. Growing
up, I looked up to her because she dared
to stand out. Flo-Jo truly exemplified
what it meant to have a ‘winning season’
throughout her life and athletic career.
I believe it’s important to define what
I mean by a winning season. Of course,
a winning season can involve the large
amounts of success and wins that a team
experiences during the sports season.
However, a winning season is so much
more than that. In fact, it is not limited
to just sports or athletes. A winning
season is a mindset. The same mindset
that Flo-Jo described as “know[ing]
what [you] have to do… do[ing] whatever
it takes…[and] com[ing] out a winner.”
Your mindset is the driving force to
helping you win and achieve your goals.
When trying to overcome obstacles
and walk into your winning season it’s
important to not compare yourself to
others. Instead, focus on what you can
do and go from there. Take a look at
your overall goals. What are your shortterm
goals? What are your long-term
goals? This is essential because it allows
you to figure out the first steps that you
need to take in order to walk into your
winning season. If you keep your head
in the game and focus on what you can
accomplish daily, you can transform your
lifestyle into a long-lasting winning
I am delighted to present the fifth
issue of Nineteen Fifty-Six. I hope this
magazine issue inspires you to walk into
your winning season with confidence
that you have what it takes to truly
come out a winner
I know what I have to do, and I’m going to do
whatever it takes. If I do it, I’ll come out a winner,
and it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.
- Florence Griffith Joyner
3 NINETEEN FIFTY-SIX MAGAZINE
E D I T O R - I N - C H I E F
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
WATCH PARTY EATS
THE SIDE HUSTLE
PATH TO THE OLYMPICS
THE EXPLOITATION OF BLACK
ATHLETES FOR WHITE DOLLARS
BLACK SOLIDARITY IN SPORTS
5 NINETEEN FIFTY-SIX MAGAZINE
C U L T U R E
ndoubtedly, the University of Alabama men’s
basketball team is continuing to elevate and make
their presence known in the NCAA Division I
conference. The team has come from ranked below 25 in
2019, to ranked top 25, to number six, and now winning
the SEC Championship.
Even though Alabama lost one of its star players, Kira
Lewis Jr., who was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans.
That did not stop the powerhouse from returning and
dominating this season. Players such as John Petty Jr. and
Herb Jones are household names due to their drive and
ambition throughout their time at Alabama. Jones, who
holds a career-high of 21-points, completed his fourth
double-double of the season against the Tennessee Vols
on Saturday afternoon.
Of course, the success of the team does not completely
stand on the shoulders of its outstanding players, but
also on its head coach, Nate Oats.
Since Oats’ arrival in 2019, his promise to elevate
the team so far has not let the Crimson Tide down.
During Oats’ first season, the Crimson Tide went
16-15 in the regular season and 8-10 in conference.
Unfortunately the team was unable to reach the
SEC tournament last year due to the pandemic
which resulted in game cancellations.
For Oats and the Crimson Tide, there was
no time to be upset. This only meant that
the overtime would start. In this current
season, Alabama is 23-6 in the regular
season and 16-2 in conference play. Not only that but the
team is ranked number six in NCAA and is projected to be
the number two seed in March Madness.
On March 14, the Crimson Tide made its first appearance
in the SEC Championship game since 2002 against LSU.
With that the team ended Alabama’s 30-year drought
and brought home the title of SEC Champions,
making it the seventh in program history.
7 NINETEEN FIFTY-SIX MAGAZINE
TO BE TRUE?
COLLEGE ATHLETES &
The return of EA Sports’ NCAA Football series has set the video game world on fire. Many
fans have patiently waited for it’s return while others are concerned about one of the
main reason it left: The Name, Image, & Likeness dispute. Do college athletes deserve to
profit off of their NIL like their institutions do?
he debate over college athletes
receiving compensation has been
a hot topic for quite some time.
From NBA player LeBron James to
Senator Bernie Sanders, the issue
has been brought up by athletes as
well as politicians. The influence
that is associated with a player’s
jersey number or name becomes
synonymous with the university
team and sometimes even a brand
by itself. As the likeness of athletes
is distributed to thousands or even
millions of fans through collegiate
merchandise, the student-athletes
themselves receive no monetary
This is explained in greater detail by
former NBA player Jerome Williams
in a 2020 Vox article.
“For years, student-athletes, especially
those from minority communities,
have been disadvantaged from
monetizing their image, or what we
call ‘player intellectual property,’
said Williams. “There’s an ongoing
revenue stream college athletes are
not a part of.”
During April of 2020, the NCAA
Board of Governors announced their
support concerning the rights to
name, image and likeness for college
athletes along with the athletes
being able to take advantage of these
rights. As outlined in an article from
CBS Sports, within the guidelines
college athletes would be able to
receive payment from endorsements
by social media, third-party product
promotion, autograph signing, meet
and greets, and their own business
Along with the guidelines come
restrictions that prohibit athletes
and third parties from using
school or conference logos in
their endorsements. The school
or conference can not seek out
endorsements on the athletes behalf,
make endorsement payments, nor
allow outside involvement (boosters)
to utilize endorsements to pay for
Additionally, the NCAA emphasizes
the importance of student-athletes
“maintaining the priorities of
education and the collegiate
experience.” The addition of payment
would be the next logical step for
student-athletes who have already
established brands for themselves
in connection with their respective
Athletes bring in large revenue for
their schools. They are often the
driving force for school spirit and
sometimes draw in more students
or fans. Without compensation
they merely contribute to a campus
culture that views and treats them
as indispensable until their college
career is done. The cycle then
continues when they are replaced by
another group of athletes who are
given almost identical treatment.
Out of the top three athletic divisions,
many athletes have a greater
probability of earning a college
degree than leveraging their college
athletic career into the professional
field. As presented in a 2020 NCAA
report, graduation success rates are
86% in Division I, 71% in Division II
and 87% in Division III. Athletes are
steadily excelling academically while
receiving the education promised
to them when they first committed.
However, they still encounter
roadblocks regarding compensation
for the use of their likeness and
Many students agree that studentathletes
should be paid salaries. In
a 2019 CNBC article, College Pulse
surveyed 2,501 students about their
stance on student-athletes being
compensated for their likeness.
77% were in favor or strongly
favored payment being given. When
surveying student-athletes, 81% were
in favor or strongly favored payment
In the College Pulse survey, racial
demographics were also included. An
estimated 61% of Black students said
they favor or strongly favor paying
student-athletes a salary, followed
by 56% of Asian students, 52% of
Hispanic students, and 51% of white
The highest percentage coming from
Black students is not surprising,
considering Black student-athletes
make up the largest percentage of
athletic teams. Their images are
typically the most prominent amongst
fans and media consumption. A
2019 NCAA report states that Black
male and female student-athletes
comprise 60% to 68% of college teams
in football and basketball alone.
With Black students often composing
the majority of a university team in
a high-earning revenue sport, their
talent and value as student-athletes
goes beyond winning championships.
Attaining a quality education with
scholarships to cover tuition and
additional school expenses should not
be the sole form of reimbursement
Additional compensation for their
image and likeness adds the icing
on the cake and begins to cover the
layers of race, gender and economic
reasoning. Athletes contribute
to the economic success of their
university’s sports programs. Yet,
without compensation they rarely
ever receive a slice of the cake.
9 NINETEEN FIFTY-SIX MAGAZINE
L I F E S T Y L E
11 NINETEEN FIFTY-SIX MAGAZINE
t’s March and you know what
that means…March Madness! For
those of you who don’t know,
March Madness is the NCAA Division
I basketball tournament. It is a singleelimination
tournament of 68 teams
that compete in seven rounds for
the national championship. The final
round is known as the Final Four, so
only four lucky teams are left.
Of course here at The University
of Alabama, we’re a championship
school. Therefore, we have to
celebrate. March Madness isn’t March
Madness without some delicious
game day eats. Food options will
vary at every socially distanced
watch party. Chicken wings and
fries are the popular food option for
many; however, it never hurts to try
something new. Let’s dive into some
tasty and fun recipes that you can
make with your family and friends.
Even if cooking isn’t your specialty,
trying new recipes can offer new and
Here are some game day recipes
that can easily be whipped up in the
BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP
The first thing on the menu is buffalo
chicken dip. This dip is perfect for
game days. It’s hot, cheesy, and spicy.
What more could you ask for?
First, preheat the oven to 425°F. Then,
get some shredded rotisserie chicken.
Mix the shredded chicken with cream
cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese,
scallions, and — of course — buffalo
sauce. Once that is all good, place it
in the oven until it is nice and bubbly,
taking no more than ten minutes.
HOMEMADE QUESO OR
The next dip on the menu is queso
or guacamole. These two recipes are
virtually the same, one just has cheese
and the other just has guacamole.
Pre-made guacamole and queso from
the store are easy and just as good,
but nothing is better than a fresh
dip. Pre-made guacamole and queso
from the store are easy and just as
good, but nothing is better than a
For the queso, you’ll want some
cheddar cheese, green onions, garlic,
diced tomatoes, cayenne pepper, and
cilantro. Sautee everything first to
get the most of your seasoning then
add in the cheese. Mix well until the
For the guacamole, you’ll want
avocados, lime juice, cilantro,
tomatoes, garlic, and cayenne pepper.
Get all those ingredients and mash
them up together until it is a nice
Now to the real food. Watch parties
come with a variety of different meals
depending on the appetites of the
people attending. Finger foods are
the best food option because you can
eat and still socialize while watching
the game. Some good recipes include
pizza and of course chicken wings.
When it comes to pizza, feel free
to add whatever toppings you or
the crowd likes. The best part
about making pizza from scratch is
everyone can come together to help
out. Pizza dough is also pretty simple
to make, surprisingly!
Follow this step-by-step recipe to get
the best results.
Combine bread flour, sugar, yeast,
and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand
mixer. While the mixer is running,
add water and two tablespoons of oil.
Beat until the dough forms into a ball.
If the dough is sticky, add additional
flour in one tablespoon increments
until the dough forms into a solid
ball. If the dough is too dry, add
additional water in one tablespoon
increments. Scrape the dough onto
a lightly floured surface and gently
knead into a smooth, firm ball.
After your dough is all good to
go, grease a large bowl with the
remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil,
add the dough, cover the bowl with
plastic wrap, and put it in a warm
area to allow it to double in size for
about an hour. Lay the dough onto a
lightly floured surface and divide it
into 2 equal pieces. Cover each piece
with a clean kitchen towel or plastic
wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Add the pizza sauce and toppings
then pop it into the oven at 475°F for
Chicken wings are also easy to make,
especially if you own a fancy air fryer!
You just need some frozen chicken
wings and seasoning of your choice.
If you want breaded wings, get some
eggs and flour. Then, dip each wing
in that mixture and drop the wings in
oil or stick them in an air fryer.
Traditional (non-breaded) wings are
typically the watch party favorites.
Follow the steps above without
adding eggs or flour. Once the wings
are golden brown and crispy, it’s time
Regardless of your plans for March
Madness, these recipes are sure to
come in handy! They are fun and
easy to cook and will also make your
taste buds smile. As always, you can
add your own twist to any of these
recipes. Just make sure to enjoy the
THE SIDE HUSTLE: SMALL JOBS TO
MAKE BIG MONEY
Due to the pandemic, businesses and families around the world have been affected economically. The sudden spread of COVID-19
and the panic that followed greatly impacted non-essential businesses as well as small businesses. In recent years, the spirit of
entrepreneurship has been praised and encouraged in society, especially amongst young adults. In order to combat financial
hardships, many people search for quick and creative ways to gain some extra cash. Here are a few side hustles that have begun to
DoorDash has become one of the
most popular food delivery service
apps since the rise of COVID-19
in March 2020. Users who wish
to stay home and avoid public
interactions are able to order food
from local restaurants and have
it delivered to their home within
minutes. Contactless deliveries
have been added to many delivery
services as a health and safety
precaution. DoorDash provides
the option to become “Dashers,”
which is someone who delivers
food to the users’ addresses. As a
Dasher, you could make up to $100
a day plus tips.
UBER & LYFT
Similar to DoorDash, Uber and
Lyft are another service that has
seen a spike in use during the
pandemic. With a sudden spike
in job loss, many people are in
search of a steady income. People
who aren’t eligible to drive due to
health or disabilities occasionally
need rides to the grocery store or
to a doctor’s appointment. College
students also rely on these rides
to get to the airport or travel in
unfamiliar cities. This service
was pretty popular before the
pandemic amongst the younger
generation and provides a quick
income for drivers.
& BEAUTY SERVICES
If you are skilled in doing hair,
makeup or even nails, there is an
opportunity for you to make some
pretty good money. For years,
people have started their own
businesses and catered to their
community simply by using their
natural talent and skills. Not only
is this a quick way to potentially
make hundreds of dollars daily,
but it’s also a great way to perfect
your skills with new clients.
BABYSITTING & DOG
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The old
school hustle of babysitting and
dog sitting is a pretty steady way
to earn yourself some extra cash
on the side. Most people benefit
from a babysitter or dog sitter
at some point in time. As long as
you’re a responsible, honest and
caring sitter, this job is an easy
and (sometimes) fun way to earn
Etsy is a popular site that people
use to sell handmade crafts and
items. Items vary from jewelry,
clothing, paintings and even
furniture. Anything you can
imagine could probably be found
on this site. Not only is this a
great way to earn money, but it’s
also a great way to finance your
small business and showcase your
creativity to potential buyers
across the world.
EVENT & PARTY
Event planning is a great and
exciting way to earn some extra
cash. This hobby could also turn
into a possible career path. There
are always events to be held
whether it’s for a birthday, baby
shower or graduation. Decorating
and organizing a celebratory
event can be a bit of a hassle.
Therefore, many people will hire
planners to take over some of the
responsibilities of throwing the
perfect event or party. While you
work as the hired event planner,
all the clients have to do is show
up, sit back, relax and of course
pay you for putting together the
event of their dreams!
13 NINETEEN FIFTY-SIX MAGAZINE
PATH TO THE OLYMPICS: Q&A
WITH SHELBY MCEWEN
F E A T U R E S
riginally from Oxford, Mississippi, Shelby McEwen
began as a basketball player at Northwest Mississippi
Community College. Along the way, he realized his
growing passion for track and field, particularly when it
came to high jump.
After enrolling as a student-athlete at the University
of Alabama, he became a First Team All-American,
SEC champion, and First Team All-SEC for both
indoor and outdoor high jump.
He is now an alumni with big plans for his future.
In 2019, he signed a pro contract with the goal of
taking his talents to the Olympics after making
the world team.
In this Q&A, McEwen offers insights into
his background, inspirations, future goals
and so much more.
When did you first begin competing
in track & field?
I started track & field my sophomore year
of high school.
What event(s) do you compete in?
I competed in High Jump, Long Jump, and 300
Hurdles in high school. But, I strictly compete
in High Jump now.
Who was your biggest supporter
My parents were my biggest supporters. They
were at every game and track meet. I can
count on one hand how many competitions
they missed, if they missed any.
When did you realize track & field
was something you wanted to do
for a career?
After my two years of playing junior
college (juco) basketball, I started jumping
at track meets unattached to a team. I was
beating college competitors even though
I had no training or coach at the time. I
knew then I wanted to further my career
in track and field.
How did you work to become a better athlete?
I did the right things on and off the track. Rest is key to
a good performance. I also focused on the small things to
be successful when the big track meets and other things
came. I’ve always been open to fixing things in my track
and field event to make me better as an athlete and person.
Who are your role models and sources of
I would most definitely say my mom. She motivates
and pushes me to be great at everything I do. Mom
always tells it how it is. She lets me know if I’m
complaining and making excuses. She just can talk
to me in general about whatever.
Do you have any particular song(s)
you play to get hype before your
I don’t really listen to music before
competing, but if I do I’ll listen to Lil
Durk, Meek Mill, and some gospel music.
What goals do you have moving
into the future?
Moving into the future I have goals of opening
my own business with my clothing brand,
Superior Marks, which is currently going pretty
good. Another goal is making the 2021 Olympic
team, winning a medal at the Olympics, and
winning other major championships in the
What has been the biggest lesson
you’ve learned so far?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to always
work hard and never give up on your dream.
It’s left up to you to go and make it happen.
Relax, have fun, and there’s no pressure.
The older you become the more mature and
wiser you get.
Is there anything else you would
like people to know about you?
Basketball was my first love. In 2014, I was
the champion of Michael Jordan’s First to
Fly High School Dunk Contest.
15 NINETEEN FIFTY-SIX MAGAZINE
THE EXPLOITATION OF BLACK
ATHLETES FOR WHITE DOLLARS
E X P E R I E N C E S
ollege athletics provide an outlet
for students of color to continue
their educational journey while
also playing the sport that they love.
Or so they are told.
Behind the mask of education and
athletic paradise is a dark history of
using Black athletes for monetary
gain. Black students from different
backgrounds are lured into a system
that seldom looks different than the
slavery that existed in this country
hundreds of years ago. American
universities and colleges preach
about being diverse, equitable and
inclusive. Yet their words don’t match
Their money is not put where their
mouth is, either.
For far too long, Black athletes have
been used for revenue at the expense
of their body, mind and soul. The
issues that they face are not cared for
like their nonminority counterparts,
and Black dominated sports are often
the first to be defunded if the river of
revenue is not flowing.
Athletes are now speaking out. From
creating social media movements
to protesting at their respective
schools, these athletes are pushing
their grievances to the forefront.
With this, they have challenged their
respective institutions to face a past
of exploitation and work to a future
A DARK PAST
The recent demonstrations of Black
athletes from the University of
Alabama to UCLA reflect a history
of struggle dating back to the
1960s. Since the integration of Black
athletes into previously all-white
collegiate sports, Black students have
pushed back against the exploitative
system they were in.
The first known instance of this
was in the late 1960s. Black athletes
were used for their athletic talent,
but were still excluded on campus
and no faculty within the athletic
departments looked like them. These
athletes began airing grievances
about the hostile environment they
were put in. Simply put, Black athletes
did not want to be regarded as token
symbols. They were people that were
dealing with real issues.
The landscape of collegiate sports
has changed dramatically since the
1960s. Yet, the problems still remain.
Nevertheless, Black athletes are
poised to shift the culture around
college athletics. With the power
of social media, athletes across the
globe can connect and fight together
with a simple hashtag. Black athletes
are understanding the depth of
their power and are using it to push
back. With the complexities around
college sports expanding to TV deals
and sponsorships, it is now more
critical than ever for athletes to
fight for their true worth. They must
establish themselves as students at
a university, as the title “studentathlete”
suggests. Their worth is not
just reduced to their athletic abilities
The question is are colleges and
universities willing to see their true
Recent actions suggest otherwise.
WE WANT TO PLAY
The statement “We Want To Play”
gained notoriety leading up to the
2020 NCAA Football season. Several
athletes--- including former Alabama
quarterback Mac Jones--- pushed
NCAA officials to let the season
This statement can hold a different
weight when it comes to Black
A few hours north in Clemson, South
Carolina, Athletic Director Dan
Radakovich announced the removal
of Clemson University’s Men’s Track
and Field Program after the 2020-2021
season. The sport produced several
Olympic athletes and medalists.
The sport also consisted of
predominantly Black athletes.
In an open letter, Radakovich
discussed the reasoning behind the
17 NINETEEN FIFTY-SIX MAGAZINE
“After a long period of deliberative
discussion and analysis, we concluded
that discontinuing our men’s track
and field program is in the best longterm
interests of Clemson Athletics,”
Radakovich said. “While this decision
comes during the significant financial
challenges due to the ongoing
pandemic, those challenges are just
one of many factors that led to this
decision. We will continue to honor
all student-athlete scholarships and
provide them with support as they
work towards earning their degrees.”
Radakovich also stated that the
$2,000,000 saved from cutting this
program will help the university
financially for the future and will be
invested in other athletic programs.
During a global pandemic, Clemson
University decided that saving money
was more important than fostering
the goals of their Black athletes in
the men’s track and field program.
Clemson also limited the outlets to
create diversity within their athletic
program by cutting a diverse program
that did not generate enough revenue
to please the athletic department.
In order to promote a diverse
environment, a University should
create avenues for students from
different backgrounds to do what
they love. Getting rid of this program
signaled to Black athletes that they
were expendable at Clemson. They
were only seen as tokens to cash in
more money for the university.
The athletes did not appreciate that.
Shortly after, athlete turned activist
Russell Dinkins started a movement
called #SaveClemsonXCTF. The
movement included a core team of 11
people and several others around the
country working to garner support
for the cause. The unionized feel
of this movement is something the
sports world rarely saw. Typically, the
difficulty to come together under one
cause in NCAA sports squandered
any hopes of bonding together.
This time was different.
After Radavokich’s announcement,
Dinkins stated how this move shows
how Clemson feels about Black
“You’re taking away admissions
opportunities you’re taking
away admissions slots, and those
opportunities can be life-changing
especially from those who come from
backgrounds where they otherwise
may not have that opportunity,”
Dinkins, along with his band of
supporters, filed a complaint against
Clemson, citing racial bias.
A movement like this was prevalent
across the country. Athletes
everywhere were fighting for not
only the privilege to compete, but
also for their values as students on
campus to not be reduced to what
they contribute through athletic
labor. The foundation laid by Black
athletes in the 1960s is now being
used to build pillars for the future.
A LOCAL BATTLE
Last August, athletes at the
University joined together to protest
against racial injustice issues in
America. Former Alabama running
back Najee Harris stated the purpose
of this march on his Twitter account
days before the event.
“We want our voices to be heard as we
strive to enact social change and rid
our world of social injustices,” Harris
The march happened. Students and
residents came out to show their
support for these athletes. Tears were
But what happened after that day?
Some student athletes appreciated
that the athletic department was
showing support for Black issues. One
student athlete said that they liked
how the march created conversations.
“I liked that it opened a conversation
on social media,” one student athlete
said. “It’s actually more than just
sports. You can’t just sit here and
shout ‘Roll Tide’ but then go be a
racist. That’s not how it works.”
The struggle of Black athletes to
be seen as more than just objects
for entertainment has existed for
years. The march at first seemed to
be a turning point at the University
to create lasting change for Black
Then, nothing else happened.
The Alabama football team completed
a historic season in 2020. Soon, other
athletic programs got their season
underway. The conversation that
started in August seemed to end
just as it began and the excitement
around the conversations quickly
There lies the issues.
In order for change to happen,
pressure must be consistently applied.
Black issues do not go away with a
simple march to Foster Auditorium.
There must be transparency and
authenticity to the movements on
Otherwise, the cycle just continues.
n August of 2016, former NFL
quarterback Colin Kaepernick
and his teammate, Eric Reid,
made national headlines and sparked
a revolutionary movement. Both
players decided to take a knee at one
of their pre-season games during the
national anthem. According to Reid
and Kaepernick, the act of kneeling
during the anthem was in protest
against police brutality and injustice.
Immediately following the incident,
Kaepernick specifically faced great
backlash, which eventually led to
his departure from the 49ers team.
Kaepernick has since continued his
work as a civil rights activist and
influencer. Many fans, athletes and
celebrities have shown their support
for the former NFL star.
It is important to note that Kaepernick
wasn’t the only athlete to publicly
support the Black community on
sports grounds. Other athletes have
made headlines for making strong
political statements on the field.
Before kneeling at sporting events
became a controversial trend, two
African American men famously
raised their fists in the “Black Power”
salute at the 1968 Olympics. John
Carlos and Tommie Smith saluted the
Black-led social movement during
the national anthem, similar to
Kaepernick’s protest. The bold act of
these men was a symbol of solidarity
for Black and oppressed people
around the world.
This iconic moment was captured in
a photograph which shows Smith,
Carlos and Australian runner Peter
Norman standing on a podium after
the 200 meter race. Controversy
surrounded track and field stars
Carlos and Smith once the photo
made national headlines. Norman
was also under media scrutiny for
standing alongside them on the
podium. Though Norman didn’t
salute the Black Power Movement, he
fully supported Carlos and Smith’s
protest. The three men suffered
loss in their professional careers
but gained support from the Black
community for their efforts in
promoting equality and justice.
19 NINETEEN FIFTY-SIX MAGAZINE
he NCAA has kicked off their
annual basketball tournament,
which is famously referred to
as March Madness. The tournament
generates great attention and
excitement from sports fans across
the country. However, the highly
anticipated tournament had a rocky
start as the NCAA encountered a
brief backlash in the media. On March
18, 2021, Stanford University sports
performance coach Ali Kershner
posted a photo on her Instagram page
showing the distinct differences in
weight room amenities at the NCAA
UNFAIR TREATMENT IN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
In the post, Kershner shared her
thoughts on the women’s weight
room in comparison to the men’s
weight room. Kreshner pointed out
that the two weight room setups
were noticeably different. The men’s
teams were supplied with almost
triple the amount of workout space
and equipment compared to the
Following Kershner’s post, Sedona
Prince, a current member of the
University of Oregon’s women’s
basketball team, posted a viral TikTok
speaking on the unequal weight
rooms at the NCAA tournament. In a
follow-up Twitter post on March 19,
2021, Prince reposted the TikTok with
a tweet acknowledging the irony of
the weight room situation occurring
during Women’s History Month.
“If you aren’t upset about this
problem, then you’re a part of it,”
Prince said in the viral TikTok video.
The news quickly spread across social
media with both female and male
athletes expressing their disapproval
of the NCAA’s negligence. NBA
players like Kyrie Irving and
Steph Curry came to the women’s
basketball team’s defense and said
that the unequal treatment at the
NCAA tournament was “unfair” and
“unacceptable.” Vannessa Bryant, wife
of the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, also
shared the controversial story on her
Instagram while asking for helpful
ways she could get involved.
The University of Alabama’s women’s
basketball team has been gearing up
for their own competitive season.
The team provided their input
on the NCAA tournament weight
room situation in a pre-game press
conference before they played
against North Carolina on March 22,
According to Kristy Curry, head coach
of Alabama’s women’s basketball team,
she and her team often have open
discussions regarding basketball and
how their team can help promote
positivity and inclusiveness. Curry
also said that the girls are focused on
keeping their heads in the game.
“There are some areas [in which] we
need to improve and we need to be
on an equal playing field with men’s
basketball,” Curry said. “We want to
focus on the things we can control,
but we will also continue to speak and
create a platform for every little girl
who wants to be treated exactly the
same [as their male counterparts].”
The conversation about men’s
basketball in comparison to women’s
basketball arose again in a post-game
press conference on March 23, 2021.
Alabama women’s basketball players
Jordan Lewis and Hannah Barber
gave their thoughts on whether they
believe women’s basketball receives
less attention in the media compared
to men’s basketball during March
“In my opinion, I think it’s just how
you look at it [considering] the
things that have been talked about on
social media,” Lewis said. “The most
important thing is to come here and
win games and continue to strive to
be the best you can be. I think as we
continue to perform on the court the
awareness will grow and more people
will want to watch.”
Barber agreed with Lewis’ views by
adding that performing well on the
court will ultimately result in good
feedback from fans and media.
“By putting good product on the
floor, [we’re] going to attract more
fans and spectators,” Barber said.
“So, that’s what we’re really focused
on— just continuing to play hard,
bringing a lot of energy, and putting
on a good game out there for people
The unfair treatment at the NCAA
tournament extended beyond the
weight rooms as more pictures
surfaced online. The viral photos
compared other accommodations
between the two teams, such as
prepared and catered food, swag
bags and more.
The NCAA has since released a public
statement apologizing for initially
“dropping the ball” in their recent
accommodations for the women’s
“We fell short this year in what we’ve
been doing to prepare in the last 60
days for 64 teams to be here in San
Antonio, and we acknowledge that,”
said Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice
president of women’s basketball.
The NCAA upgraded the
women’s weight room
after the backlash.
N C A A
president of basketball Dan Gavitt
also apologized for the organization’s
error in the following statement:
“We have intentionally organized
basketball under one umbrella [at
the NCAA] to ensure consistency
and collaboration. When we fall
short of these expectations, it’s on
me,” Gavitt said. “I apologize to
women’s basketball student-athletes,
coaches and the women’s basketball
committee for dropping the ball on
the weight rooms in San Antonio.”
The NCAA weight room controversy
has since sparked a greater
conversation surrounding sports,
gender and equality. It has now
become even more apparent that
inequality still remains an issue in
sports and must be addressed sooner
21 NINETEEN FIFTY-SIX MAGAZINE