Last Monday, Hudson Taylor, a former athlete who advocates for allyship and inclusion, visited Trinity and spoke about his passion for the importance of ending homophobia, racism and sexism, particularly in sports.
Taylor wrestled in college and is now a wrestling coach at Columbia University. He shared some stories of experiences in which he dealt with homophobic language among his teammates.
“On one hand, I had friends using homophobic language. On the other hand, I had friends coming out,” Taylor said. “It gave me an awareness of the issues in the sports base and a desire to do something about it.”
During his lecture, Taylor told Trinity students about Athlete Ally, which is a program Taylor founded to create a community of inclusion in the sports realm. The program includes a pledge that participants can sign to promise to stand against homophobic language used by their peers.
“I think we should get all clubs on campus to sign the pledge,” said sophomore Dani Galarza.
Hudson says he lives by the core principles of the program, and he encourages others to do so as well. He said that it is important to be educated and explicit and to speak up so that you can be proud of your history.
“You should always act so long as the burdens of that action do not outweigh the benefits of that action,” Taylor said. “You are responsible for whatever history of which you are a part. Own and take responsibility for your history.”
Several Trinity students agreed with Taylor on the issue of students failing to speak up when they hear homophobic, sexist or racist slurs on Trinity’s campus.
“I realized that no one stands up to the hate talk, and that surprised me because I feel like Trinity is a pretty progressive place,” said sophomore Julia Kennedy.
“I liked how he said “˜If you see something, say something,'” said sophomore Jordan High.
Taylor emphasized his “Platinum Rule,” which also attracted the attention of Trinity students. The Platinum Rule says to “treat others as they want to be treated.”
“I would say that following the Platinum Rule would be a good way to improve Trinity’s inclusion and allyship,” said junior Alex Hartzell. “Teams and clubs will have the most success if they view and treat every member in a way that they would want to be treated.”
Students can learn more about Taylor’s Athlete Ally program and take the Athlete Ally pledge by visiting the website www.athleteally.org.