Izzo hopes t-shirts will 'inspire others to have conversations' about social injustice
Tom Izzo said during media day on Oct. 11, that if his team were to do any type of protests, demonstrations or other social injustice conversation starters, it's going to be all of them because that's what teams do.
That's exactly what Izzo and his team are planning, as Izzo announced his team will wear t-shirts that say "We Talk, We Listen" on the front and a quote from Miles Bridges on the back that says, “It’s Not About Me, It’s About Us.”
"Our hope is that our t-shirts might inspire others to have conversations about things, in the same way we're a stronger team when we talk together and when we work together," Izzo said. "We believe our country can be a better place, if we do the same."
Izzo said he hopes the t-shirts will "create a movement" and isn't focused necessarily on "trying to capture the moment."
"This isn't for show, this isn't to make anybody feel good, it's not to make anyone feel bad, it's figuring out we need to capture the moment and get people to converse, to create a movement," Izzo said.
Izzo also made sure everybody knew wearing the t-shirt's aren't a form of protest, and said everybody will be "standing with our hand over our heart" during the national anthem.
"We're going to try and do more for all people," Izzo said.
Izzo said him and his team had several conversations talking about different backgrounds and different upbringings to understand where each player, coach and staff member is coming from.
"Understanding someones past experiences usually shapes their view of current events," Izzo said.
Izzo said because of the current hostile political atmosphere in the U.S., his players didn't want to do anything that would possibly offend someone.
"We felt there are too many people talking, and not enough people listening," Izzo said. "Everybody has their own opinion on things. Everybody talks about things, and not a lot gets done."
Izzo said with the platform they have of being one of the top ranked hoops programs in the nation, they hope to at least start conversations locally and knew doing nothing, doesn't help.
Izzo also said this t-shirts are just the first step, and there will be different t-shirts or other avenues of communication him and his team will do or use in the future.