College Football

IU adds ‘social justice patch’ to athletes’ uniforms starting with football team

Indiana University Athletics on Oct. 19, 2020, unveiled its "social justice patch." (Photo Provided)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana University football players at Saturday’s game at Memorial Stadium will be the first to wear a new “social justice patch,” the athletics department said Monday.

All other IU athletics teams also will incorporate the logo into their gameday uniforms and pregame warm-up apparel during their 2020-21 seasons.

On the football uniforms, the logo will be in the upper, right chest of the players’ uniforms. In addition, it will be displayed on the back of the players’ helmets, coach Tom Allen said in a news release

The Mark Cuban Center for Sports Media and Technology staff “imagined” the logo in consultation with the Athletic Director’s Council for Diversity and Inclusivity, said the release from Jeff Keag, senior assistant athletic director for media relations.

The logo is IU Athletics’ latest efforts to highlight its concerns over racial injustice and inequality and to promote positive change. Previous steps include these:

  • Annual, mandatory, in-person racial inclusivity training for all staff and students.
  • Election Day as a mandatory day off for students for all athletically related activities.
  • Major new Excellence Academy programs on civics, citizenship and voter education.
  • Establishment of the Indiana University Athletics Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition.
  • Instituting staff and student conversations at least once every semester on issues related to race.

“The players are excited about it as a sign of unity, as a sign of togetherness, peace and love that we want to promote. I want us to be a beacon of what it looks like to love each other and care about one another, no matter where you are from, and no matter whether you have differences or not. We have to be able to work together to make the world a better place, make Bloomington a better city, make the state of Indiana a better state, and have that impact across the country.”

IU head football coach Tom Allen

The Big Ten football season kicks off this Saturday. Both IU and Purdue are playing at home. IU hosts Penn State, and Purdue takes on Iowa. Only a limited number of family members and staff will be allowed inside the stadiums. No tailgating will be allowed at either stadium. That rule has been adopted by all 14 Big Ten schools.