AASP Statement Denouncing Insurrection Activities in Washington, D.C.
January 18, 2021
Last spring, AASP released an organizational statement in response to events of racialized violence in which we expressed a commitment to “speak, act and resist against all forms of injustice to create a more equitable sport culture, society and world” (Black Lives Matter: AASP's Statement and Resources Related to Recent Racialized Events). At our core, we are an organization focused on sport and mental performance; however, we know that these areas exist within a larger sociocultural context. Therefore, when injustice happens, within or outside of the realm of sport, it can have a direct impact on us, the work that we do, and those we serve.
On January 6, the national and international community was jarred by the insurrection on the United States Capitol by those who wished to thwart our democracy and disrupt the peaceful transition of power. Dissent is essential to American democracy; though, what we witnessed was not dissent nor protest but sedition and a failed self-coup (Ingraham, 2021). We are living in uncertain times and once again we are reminded of the hate, distrust, and disregard for justice and reality that has been fomented by those in power. The impact of witnessing the events that took place in Washington, D.C. was deeply felt by individuals and communities across the country and the world.
Moreover, the overt differences in law enforcement response to the attack on the U.S. Capitol compared to Black Lives Matter (BLM) and indigenous land demonstrations further unveil the systemic racism and the undercurrents of white supremacy in the United States and its institutions. Furthermore, this violent insurrection and the response, or lack thereof, of those who enabled it stands in stark contrast to the countless Black and brown athletes, coaches, and their allies who, in recent years, have peacefully protested racial injustice while enduring racism, condemnation, and hate. As a professional community, we cannot ignore or remain silent about systemic and structural racism. It is our responsibility to each other and those we serve to work toward creating a more just world and to affirm, in the strongest possible terms, that bigotry, racism, and hatred have no place in our society or the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP).
Each of us, including White and White-identifying individuals, has a shared responsibility to dismantle the hatred, white supremacy and bigotry dividing us. As we expressed in our organizational statement last spring, following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, “We do not have all the answers but we are an organization that values differences, diversity, and a shared compassion for humanity.” As we continue to forge a path forward, let us draw upon the lessons that we so readily teach and learn in sport and do so by strengthening the bonds in our community, protecting the most vulnerable among us, and working together to create a society in which we are all respected and afforded the space to cohesively exist and live.
AASP Advocacy Committee and AASP Executive Board
Ingraham, C. (2021). How experts define the deadly mob attack at the U.S. Capitol. Retrieved https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/01/13/autogolpe-self-coup-capitol/