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NAACP urges Black student-athletes to reconsider Florida colleges amid DEI funding controversy

NAACP urges Black student-athletes to reconsider Florida colleges amid DEI funding controversy
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NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson has called on Black student-athletes to reconsider their decisions to attend public colleges and universities in Florida. The call comes in response to a new state policy preventing institutions from utilizing government funds for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs.

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In a letter sent to current and prospective student-athletes of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on Monday, NBC News reported that Johnson urged them to “choose wisely” amidst the ongoing debate surrounding DEI funding in Florida. He emphasized the crucial role of diversity, equity, and inclusion in ensuring equitable and effective educational outcomes, noting that Black athletes’ value to large universities is unmatched.

The controversy stems from a bill signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last year, restricting public colleges and universities from using state and federal funds for DEI programs. “If these institutions are unable to completely invest in those athletes, it’s time they take their talents elsewhere,” Johnson declared, according to NBC News.

The University of Florida’s recent decision to eliminate all DEI positions, complying with the state rule, drew condemnation from NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, an alum of the school. Smith emphasized the need for minority athletes to be aware and vocal about such decisions.



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