George Washington University has added a Black Lives Matter symbol to its basketball court at the Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, D.C.
George Washington’s Monday press release announced that a closed fist and the letters “BLM” have been painted into the upper right-hand corner of the court, on which the Colonials play basketball and volleyball.
“The intention behind GW Athletics making this statement is to show support, understanding and a commitment to educating society on the historic plight of too many in the Black community,” the athletic department’s statement reads. “GW Athletics is not endorsing a particular movement or organization, but the simple principle that Black lives matter.”
The release added that the power fist on the court is a nod to United States athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos taking a stand against racial injustice at the 1968 Olympics.
"We believe that, along with our words and actions, it is important for our Black colleagues and students to see evidence of true support as we fight racist ideas and work to root out racism in our country," George Washington director of athletics Tanya Vogel said in the release, which noted that the emblem is just a start in the fight against injustice.
"When I was a child my mother and father cautioned me about the experience I would face as a Black man in America," George Washington men's basketball coach Jamion Christian said. "Today I am educating my son about that same experience. I love our country, and I refuse to believe that the most powerful country in the world cannot be better. This is part of us standing up for one another and the rights that each of us are afforded."
Related content: Big Ten Football Teams to Don Social Justice Messages