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Big 12 set to launch 'anti-racism, anti-hate' campaign as fall sports begin

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Bob Bowlsby

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby speaks at the Big 12 Media Days on July 15, 2019.

In his first weekly media teleconference of the fall on Monday, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced the conference will be launching its "anti-racism, anti-hate" campaign later this week.

Among the components of the campaign are new uniform pieces that will display anti-racist social messages. Some teams' jerseys will have patches on them with messages that were developed by the conference schools and approved by Bowlsby, while others will wear warm up shirts that display similar messages. Meanwhile, all conference football helmets will have Big 12 stickers on the back that say "Unity."

The conference and its institutions are developing special TV spots that can be used during broadcasts or on scoreboards as part of the campaign. Each school will also be showing what Bowlsby called a "unity message" as part of pregame activities.

"We're using a wide variety of our platforms to do the advertising and the programming that will make a difference," Bowlsby said. "And so we've got a lot to look forward to in the coming football, volleyball, soccer, (and) cross country seasons."

Bowlsby said the conference has developed an advisory board comprised of chief diversity officers from Big 12 schools. The conference has also created a black student athlete council made up of one male and one female black student athlete from each school. 

In addition to those new groups, Bowlsby said the league is continuing to support a voter registration program and is creating an internship for people of color. Bowlsby said he hopes all the Big 12 is doing to combat racial injustice has a profound impact.

"I think that systemic racism is not going to go away anytime soon," Bowlsby said, "But hopefully we can make some progress, and that's certainly our intent."

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Mason Young is a journalism sophomore and The Daily's assistant sports editor. He covers OU football and previously covered OU women's gym, OU wrestling and former Sooners in the NFL. He has also spent some time as a senior news reporter for The Daily.

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