Campus Reform | GWU paints BLM symbol with closed fist on basketball court

GWU paints BLM symbol with closed fist on basketball court

George Washington University painted a Black Lives Matter emblem on its sports arena.

Despite disapproval, universities and sports leagues have been nodding to Black Lives Matter.

George Washington University painted a “Black Lives Matter” symbol on its basketball court, which the university’s basketball and volleyball teams use for practice, according to the university’s official sports website.

The university said that the intention behind the emblem is to “show support, understanding and a commitment to educating society on the historic plight of too many in the Black community.”

Though it claims that “GW Athletics is not endorsing a particular movement or organization, but the simple principle that Black lives matter,” the closed-fist gesture is frequently employed at Black Lives Matter protests. Previously, the symbol was associated with the Black Panthers. According to ABC News, the symbol was used in reaction to the death of African-American teen Michael Brown.

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"It is important for our Black colleagues and students to see evidence of true support as we fight racist ideas and work to root out racism in our country," GW Director of Athletics Tanya Vogel said.

George Washington University is not the only college athletics department to make such a move. Meanwhile, those opposing such actions have faced fierce backlash.

University of South Carolina baseball coach Kenny Thomas was condemned by his university for criticizing a picture of a Clemson University football helmet decorated with a Black Lives Matter sticker.

[RELATED: University of South Carolina coach under fire for calling BLM 'shameful,' saying 'I support the blue']

Outside of the athletics department, other schools endorsed Black Lives Matter through other public art displays. For instance, the University of North Carolina-Wilmington created a permanent art display to showcase Black Lives Matter banners.

[RELATED: University moves Black Lives Matter banners to new 'art' exhibit]

American sports leagues, including the NBA and WNBA, decorated their arenas with Black Lives Matter slogans and allowed athletes to wear Black Lives Matter apparel. 

Its ratings have dropped by double digits this season.

Campus Reform reached out to George Washington University for comment and will be updating this article accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft