NBA, Ashland Johnson, Ashland discussed on Just One Q with Dr. Melissa Horne


Welcome to just 1q. I'm dr. Melissa horn A diversity equity and inclusion expert and advocate in this podcast. I chat with industry experts about the latest evidence-based Trends needed to diversity equity and inclusion in the workplace each week. I asked my guests just one burning question tied to current events. Our goal is to leave you with the tools you need to drive change in your own life both personally and professionally this week will be discussing the wave of athlete activism in response to the police shooting of Jacob Lake black athletes stretching as far back as boxer Jack Johnson at the turn of the 20th century have played an important role in the Black Liberation movement. And in the era of trump, we've seen more and more athletes use their platform and withholding their labor to bring attention to inequality and Injustice the recent MBA stripe marked not only a turning point in the history of athlete activism, but in the long history of Labor activism. So for today's burning Q I'm asking what can employers learn from how sports leagues are responding to athlete activism to answer. Today's question wage joined by Ashland Johnson. Hey, Ashland, thanks for being here. Thank you for having me. Ashley Johnson is the founder and president of the inclusion Playbook a sports impact consultancy an attorney wage equity and inclusion strategist and former division one athlete Ashland has over a decade of civil rights experience working with Social Justice communities advising Sports leaders and serving in leadership roles and advocacy organizations. So Ashland what can employers learn from how sports leagues are responding to athlete activism? I think that I missed time. Of course you learn a lot from Sports space. We always talk about how sports are reflection of society, but Sports also can be a leader in how we change culture and society and this is one of those examples of places where sports are leaving the ways of what employers can do what we're seeing now, especially with the athletes strikes is kind of like a new era bank and employee-employer relationships and sports and it comes to protest back in 2016. What you saw was completely different and you saw basically athletes versus for me. It came to protesting and saw the NFL when the players wanted to protest the meal the leaks responded very harshly with penalties and fines and you saw with the NBA off didn't really know how to handle it either and same with the WNBA you would see the players on one side of the issue and when you protest and the lead trying to figure out how they kind of not bring politics app. The sports now what you're seeing are leagues and athletes actually working together to either craft political messages or to help amplify the athletes political messages. So, you saw the beginning of this season for the NBA, even though they're playing in a bubble. Like a lot of the athletes were very concerned about starting back Sports as everything was normal with all the actual unrest and so they wanted to figure out how do they continue sports but still be engaged enacted activism and instead of the NBA passing a rule saying you can engage in political activities. They've worked with the players and figure out what can we do in the Realms of social justice that won't disrupt play on the court, but also allow the Apple to speak up and they came up with a great interest in solution. They allow for certain messages to be put on the athletes jerseys and the athletes could pick what was going to be on their Jersey to actually record a social message issue. Yep. Justice issue. So it's just an example of how Sports things are working directly with athletes in order to kind of come together on this issue and see their athletes is not just athletes but also employees too are human beings and operate on and off the field in employees that have issues and how political issues are very personal to people and they don't just kind of go away because someone either steps on the courts up to the field or walk through the office door. That's a really interesting point our last guest. We spoke with Michelle Newton mentioned we were talking about how employers can respond to Black lives matter and improve the experience of them a black employees and one of the things was to engage their employees and I think your point right there highlights the fact that employees are impacted by all that's happening around them. And to expect him to show up to work as if nothing has happened that is really sort of short-sighted. And so the idea that the personal is political to use of an old feminist term is really important I think and and that's really an interesting point that you've highlighted around what the NBA is doing is that they're allowing employees to be their whole selves as they come to work and acknowledging that these outside events are affecting an impacting them. Yes, absolutely. And it also has great because it builds Goodwill among employees and the employers are willing to not just do work stoppage because of birth issue, but they're willing to actually work with employers to again. How can we meet the goals of the employer how to lead to goals of league but also still exists as individual political actors who also just happened to be employees. That sounds like really it's about working with your employees versus against them. What else can employers learn from them. That the MBA or sports leagues are responding to athlete activism. Another thing employers can learn is that it's important to give your employees the tools they need to effectively change their communities and transform communities. If you're going to work with them before as you have to listen to what their needs are and help them execute those goals. So those could be things as simple as having the I train if you want to help your employees Advanced diversity and inclusion in and outside the workspace they have to be trained to do that like sports training is essential you have to build that muscle memory or whatever testing trying to accomplish. So training would be a big thing something else that employers to do is bring in experts speaker series to help employees learn more about the social justice issues that they're interested in in more nuanced ways. Another big thing that you can see our leagues doing for social justice is they're bringing in diversity a great job. You Consultants to help athletes translate their messages and helping them kind of manage some of the political work so they can be most more impactful. So again, it's just a choice of your employees by giving them the tools some examples of that are some things that the NBA is doing they have a whole roster of a diversity and inclusion Advocates or Consultants that took his basis of gender Equity like a lot of their players are now interested in Border Protection. They bring people in to educate the athletes and blue protection. They help them craft their messages so they can be more impact with trainings. They don't just train their athletes. They train the administrators too. So when you're doing trainings, it has to be top to bottom and that's why you're seeing such big strides in the League's that are doing all of these things and providing your place with the tools..

Coming up next