Sunday, July 12, 2020

Letter: Basketball game on MLK Day disrespects meaning of holiday

<p>Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at Michigan State University on February 11, 1965. Photo courtesy of MSU Archives.</p>

Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at Michigan State University on February 11, 1965. Photo courtesy of MSU Archives.

Editor's note: This letter to the editor was addressed to athletic director Bill Beekman and copied to The State News.

Dear Mr. Beekman:

I write on behalf of the Michigan State University Black Faculty, Staff, and Administrators Association, or BFSAA. It has come to our attention that a men’s basketball game is scheduled for Monday Jan. 21, 2019. Since 1986, the third Monday in January has been designated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As an American national holiday, classes at MSU are cancelled.  

MLK Day is traditionally set aside to allow individuals to attend events specifically honoring Dr. King, the civil rights legacy, and for the nation to pause to reflect on what can be done to move the needle towards an increasingly just nation and world. To our knowledge, this is the first time at MSU that such an athletic event has been scheduled on this day.

Most of us are ardent and loyal fans of MSU athletics, and we are dismayed that this has occurred. We feel this act reflects negatively on MSU and shows a disrespect of the meaning of the Dr. King holiday. We strongly appeal to you and the Athletic Department not to repeat this in the future.

Sincerely,

Eunice F. Foster

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