Staley won’t ‘stick to sports’ when it comes to social injustice

Staley won’t ‘stick to sports’ when it comes to social injustice
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley is seen during first-half action against Mississippi State in Columbia, S.C. on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (Source: (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA))

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Dawn Staley does not shy away from any moment, on or off the court. The Gamecock women’s basketball head coach utilizes her platform to speak on matters beyond the game.

Today alone, on Twitter, Staley addressed a recent fatal shooting in Atlanta at multiple spas that left eight dead.

“Just wondering if the emotions I’m feeling for the disgusting acts against Asians (women) in Atlanta yesterday a ‘shut up and coach’ moment,” Staley tweeted. “We all should be in an uproar for what has taken place.”

Staley continues to share her views on social injustices, acts of violence, and issues close to her heart.

“I’m speaking for people who are voiceless and can’t speak for themselves,” Staley added.

At times, Staley has dealt with backlash, comments asking her to stick to sports, those questioning her views, along with those offering support and encouragement.

The negative responses to her posts motivate her to say more.

“It gives me stamina,” Staley emphasized. “There are people out there that want you to turn a blind eye to something bad going on in the world.”

Staley refuses to stand pat, believing she can make a difference.

WIS one-on-one with Gamecocks' Dawn Staley

“We all have been born with hearts,” Staley said. “If your heart is hardened to the point where you can’t see someone that is being targeted, unjustly judged, or wronged, something is not right with people who can’t empathize with that.”

No matter the criticism that may come with her social media posts, Staley continues her mission to create dialogue and positive change.

“It does not bother me because I know when I am speaking up, I’m speaking from my heart,” Staley said.

I asked Dawn if she were not coaching or around the game, what would she do with her time. Staley told me she’d focus her energy on philanthropic initiatives to help young people make a better life.

Copyright 2021 WIS. All rights reserved.