On Monday, The Big Ten announced the members of the previously announced Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition, a group that features head coaches, athletic directors, presidents, student athletes and a variety of other positions within all 14 conference programs.
“The events in our country and around the world during the past few months have strengthened my fundamental belief in our need to develop tangible and actionable efforts in a collective manner and provide viable solutions addressing the issues of hate and racism in our society,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. “We have the distinct opportunity and responsibility through our Coalition to continually encourage, educate and empower our student-athletes as we embrace transparent and much-needed dialogue regarding meaningful issues that have impacted race relations for many years.”
Ohio State has eight members in the coalition: fencing head coach Donald Anthony, track and field and cross country director Karen Dennis, sophomore defensive end Zach Harrison, women’s volleyball head coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg, senior women’s track and field member Alexus Pyles, cross country head coach Khadevis Robinson, athletic director Gene Smith and former men’s basketball player Tony White.
Former Ohio State football wide receiver and defensive back Mekka Don is also a part of the coalition, and will serve as a Big Ten alumni representative on the coalition.
“The Big Ten Conference Voter Registration Initiative is a natural extension of the conversation within the Coalition. An election year provides the opportunity to educate our student-athletes in a non-partisan fashion regarding the importance of exercising their civic right to clearly understand the political process, register to vote, cast a vote during the upcoming election, and provide adequate support to combat voter suppression,” Warren said. “We are at an inflection point in our country. Empowering our student-athletes by encouraging them to use their voices illustrates how we can collectively work together to build a better future.”