After reflecting on the nationwide protests against racial inequality, John Calipari has come up with one way he can help. On this morning’s “Coffee with Cal,” Calipari shared his plans to establish an executive development program for minorities in the athletics department at UK. The program would include internships in fields like media relations, radio, TV, marketing, management, compliance, and strength and conditioning.
“Creating access and opportunity. Creating hope. That, you have a chance if you work and you do your thing, there are things out there for you. I want to start, and I proposed this to our school, an internship program, an executive development program for minorities in athletics.”
Calipari has already pitched the idea to UK and reached out to ESPN’s Maria Taylor for advice. Taylor has her own foundation to help minorities in radio and television and is already offering to send candidates his way.
“I want leaders in this thing, minority leaders to come in and say, ‘Look, I want this opportunity,'” Cal said. “I look at this and say, our athletic departments need to start looking different so that coaches can start looking different, so ADs can start looking different. Maybe the Board of Trustees starts looking different, those presidents start looking different, which changes the whole dynamic of what we’re dealing with.”
While Calipari said he feels helpless when it comes to issues like police brutality and the criminal justice system, he knows he can use his position to create access and opportunities for persons of color. It’s a cause near and dear to his heart because “it all comes back to African American families trusting me with their sons.”
“Really, this internship, I’m on this. And what I hope is, other universities look at it and say, we should do the same. Maybe some business in Lexington I grab and say, ‘Why don’t you do the same?’ And all of a sudden, we’ve created access and opportunity. We can’t give you a job but we can give you a path to the job. And I think that’s what I’d like to do.”
Check out Calipari’s comments below, along with the rest of his conversation with former Cat Reid Travis, NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo, former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, and Harvard Basketball coach Tommy Amaker.
Join John Calipari and his guests, Marvin Lewis, Reid Travis, Victor Oladipo, and Tommy Amaker for the eighth episode of Coffee with Cal in partnership with CustMbite!
Posted by John Calipari FBE on Monday, June 8, 2020