WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Enough is enough. That is how Reggie McIntyre, Wichita State University director of marketing and fan engagement, felt following the death of George Floyd back in May.
“While he wasn’t the first victim of this type of behavior, you know, his death served as a catalyst for the ultimate motivation of change.”
The change comes in the form of the new Wichita State Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Council which includes the like of McIntyre, WSU director of compliance Sarah Mathews, and several others. The purpose is to advance Shocker Athletics’ commitment toward diversity, inclusion, and gender equity among its student-athletes, coaches, and administrators.
“Our group on our council is very diverse, and I think it is a good representation of our athletic department, having student-athletes, having coaches, having administrators.”
Another one of those members is WSU head softball coach Kristi Bredbenner.
“I think sports is at the forefront, it can help in so many positive ways, whether it’s the message that it spreads or just the opportunity that it offers to help people out and allow them to work together with a multitude of people,” said Bredbenner. “Sports obviously are an opportunity to create harmony and culture within your community, and in times like this, you want to be able to rally behind your community.”
With her thumb not only on the pulse of her team but sports as a whole, Bredbenner spoke about the goal of the council.
“We want to have a very inclusive athletic department, we want every one of our staff members, every one of our coaches, and most importantly, every one of our student-athletes to feel like they are being true to themselves every single day they walk on to campus and not get any push back.”
But more than anything, they aim to listen to hear the thoughts, ideas and perspectives of others.
“I think listening helps, you know, listening is the key right now as we continue to build and grow,” said McIntyre.
For more information on the Wichita State Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Council, click here.