MCLA coaches and players,
My name is Matt Holman, president of the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference (SLC) and director of the MCLA National Championships presented by New Balance.
I am a black man that has been involved with lacrosse for 40-plus years.
This note is a simple open invitation for any player or coach who wishes to join a series of conversations I am organizing as: OVERTIME – a candid discussion on racism in lacrosse.
These Zoom panels involve up to eight members of the lacrosse community from different ethnicities all sharing their experiences, asking tough questions, and just listening and learning more about this extremely uncomfortable subject.
Just because I am black does not mean I am immune to this feeling of operating out of my comfort zone. But that is OK.
The whole point is for us to come together and have the discussion. What happens after is up to each individuals comfort level.
Through the first two airings (Episode II airs tomorrow night, 5pm PT/8pm ET, available at EMW Foundation, Lax Sports Network, and Lax All-Stars) the consistent theme has been “education.”
In the 2018 and 2019 seasons, the SLC had two players on the receiving end of racial slurs and harassment. Had it not been for each coach prying it from those aggrieved players, this behavior would have gone unchecked.
I am not saying listening and participating in these Overtime panels will solve all problems, but it will give you a starting place. Besides, you just might learn something new about yourself.
If you would like to participate, please reach out to me at: OT@emwf.org or (619) 800-5728.
These sessions are being organized through the EMW Foundation, a San Diego based 501 C 3 that I founded to promote and operate lacrosse events for a cause. The calls take 75-90 minutes and tape up to a week in advance depending on the availability of the panelist.
Thanks for reading this through. All the best to you and your teams. Hope to see you during the 2021 season or next National Championship presented by New Balance!