A huge reason why we love sports is their ability to bring people together and meritocracy to the playing field. However, the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others remind us once again of the divisiveness, inequality, and systemic racism that persist in America. We recognize that sports play an integral role in the fight for change and equality. Numerous athletes continue to use their platforms to speak out against police brutality and racial inequality, and data are being used to inform policies that will advance the fight for equality for black Americans.
After taking time to grieve, listen, reflect, educate, donate, and protest, we have come together to identify how the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference leaders and organizers can use this platform to promote racial equality and justice for black people in America. We want everyone who has attended or has been affiliated with our conference to know that we stand in solidarity with the black community at MIT and across the globe. Recognizing our platform, we pledge to do the following while planning all future SSACs to be active participants in driving change:
- Amplify black voices by increasing the share of black panelists and Competitive Advantage presenters at SSAC, and publicly display year-over-year metrics
- Make active efforts to increase representation of black-owned businesses throughout conference operations
- Provide educational materials addressing racial inequality to all attendees
- Spread awareness of the 42 Analytics Fellowship, which supports individuals looking to increase diversity within the sports industry
- Sponsor 10 undergraduate black students to participate in the 2021 conference
- Build upon previous panels discussing prison reform and diversity and inclusion by explicitly including a panel discussion on racism in sports and sports businesses at SSAC21
- Ensure the 2021 Organizing Committee will foster inclusivity and diversity before, during, and after the conference
- Welcome all feedback and guidance on how we can play a stronger, more active role in this fight for equality
We recognize this is just a small part of the change that needs to occur, but we are committed to ongoing action.
The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference