A faculty member talks to student athletes, part 2

Evening Ram Family,

There is mourning in our streets. The pain, hurt, marches, discussions, analysis of civil unrest, questions, demands for change, and calls for unity continue in every city and town in our fractured country right now. To some of us, this is the most confusing of times, while others view that the tragic images and realities of the day have a simple explanation, as ironic as that may be, through a reflective lens upon the experiment of what we call America. I know that many of you are taking on the challenge of the cries of protests and tears of loss that flood our streets.

You are calling your teammates.

You are calling your colleagues.

You are engaged in critical debate.

You are tweeting and retweeting.

You are posting videos on social media.

You are organizing meetings with your team.

You are marching in the streets in your hometown.

You are home having the most difficult of conversations with your family and neighbors.

You are doing what you think is the best you can do and yet still energized by a desire to do more.

I have seen the emotionally charging Don’t Do It advertisement produced by Nike. I appreciate the many hashtags like #UntilWeAllWin used as a signoff to messages of unity sent out by our peers across the intercollegiate athletic community. Efforts like these all serve an important purpose right now. Yet, I know many of you want more than anything, specific answers to the question “What should I do?” As I mentioned in my last email, I have not yet found that sole answer to this daunting question. As daunting as the question of what to do can be, it may only be rivaled by a question that was asked of me last night.

A young man on our football team called me last night. He didn’t waste any time with his words. He began the conversation asking, “What do you mean when you and everyone else says that we need dialogue right now? Dialogue, for real? Tell me what dialogue really is!”

If you might excuse my own self-serving attempt to answer this question for myself, I would like to propose a living document for us to develop a list of action steps that might inspire us, challenge us, organize us, mobilize us, build us, change us, to BETTER US. I don’t claim for everything on this list to be right or what you should believe, nor do I claim this list to be exhaustive in any nature. These ideas are not my own. But they have been shared with us so that we might share with those we care about most. And I care about each of you, so this is why I am sharing.

So, what is dialogue?

Right now, this is my answer.

May this living list of actions help you and your team to bring about change that will make us better:

  • Write your own book. Read it to others.
  • Write your own song. Sing it to others.
  • March. Sit. Stand. Kneel. Have presence. Use your voice to speak for the unheard.
  • Graduate.
  • Correct the narratives that leave out the robust truth.
  • Meet with other organizations to learn about their stories, concerns and their strategies of engaged citizenry
  • Learn the story of someone seemingly “different” that you.
  • Understand we all cannot play the same role in our collective revolution for change. Demand all to participate. But do not expect all to play the same position in this game as you. We all have a different skill set. Identify and elevate YOUR skillset.
  • Add something to this living list and pass it along to a teammate or member of our Ram Family!

Be well. You and I are the answer.

Doc B


Dr. Albert Bimper Jr. (’06) is Assistant Vice President, Senior Associate Athletics Director, Program Director for Sport Management, and associate professor at CSU in Fort Collins