The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is a nonprofit organization of professionals dedicated to advancing the strength and conditioning (S&C) profession around the world. With over 60,000 members and certified professionals, including the NSCA Global program with affiliates in Japan, Italy, Korea, Shanghai, and Spain, we are a growing and multicultural organization. The NSCA also maintains a Professional Code of Ethics that includes, but is not limited to, the principle that Professionals shall “not discriminate, intimidate, or persecute on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, marital or financial status, or citizenship.”
We have recently witnessed several horrific acts of racial injustice and violence that resulted in the deaths of Black Americans including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Although we know of these events because of their visibility, these are only a handful of many cases across the US that continue to devalue individuals based on the color of their skin. We unequivocally denounce all forms of racialized violence, fear, and interpersonal and systemic racism. We are united in our position of antiracism.
Subtle or explicit forms of racialized discrimination or insults occur throughout society, including where many of our members work—professional or national sports, schools and universities, private training facilities, and tactical settings. It is well supported by the scientific literature that racism, and associated poverty and injustice, result in numerous negative health, psychological, and social outcomes particularly for people of color, but also extending to all people. Any discrimination based on race is incongruent with the fairness we expect from our youth athletes to our emergency response teams.
In the days that lie ahead, let us be steadfast to do more. As individuals, we can engage in the discomfort of intrapersonal reflection to probe our own prejudices. NSCA will be revisiting its strategic plan in order to identify further offerings for professional development, community, and advocacy with a focus on diversity and inclusivity. We can ask culturally relevant questions, listen to Black voices, and provide support to expressed needs. We should not be limited by time or scope in our pursuit of doing better. It is always the right time to address injustices and it is something that warrants our ongoing attention. At our core, what we do through the good work of our members, is to make all people stronger. In this context, strength should be seen as more than the ability to produce individual force.
We will be stronger together when we can come together to embrace the challenges of social and racial justice.