Michigan’s Harbaugh, MSU’s Tucker join Big Ten coalition to battle hate, racism

The Detroit News

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh and Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker are among the members of the new Big Ten Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition, which includes student-athletes, coaches, athletic directors, chancellors, presidents representing all 14 schools, the conference announced Monday.

The Big Ten also formally launched a voter registration initiative.

Antjuan Simmons

Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman and MSU senior football player Antjuan Simmons is among the members, as well as Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel and men's basketball coach Juwan Howard.

“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 release. “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.

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“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. 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.”

Warren announced the formation of the coalition on June 1 following the death of George Floyd that has sparked protests across the country and globally. The goal of the coalition is to seek ways to combat racism and hate around the world while encouraging student-athletes to express their rights to free speech and peaceful protest.