As the sports ministry of the global organization of Cru, we stand by, support and affirm the statement “In Response to the Killing of George Floyd” posted on June 4, 2020. Some portions of the statement from Cru are included here. Because of our unique relationship with athletes, coaches and those in the sport community here in America and around the world, Athletes in Action makes the following additional statement in response to recent injustices.
The recent murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the killing of Breonna Taylor, shine a light on a very horrific and ugly state of affairs. These deaths reflect an indifference toward humanity and discount the inherent dignity given to each person by our Creator. We grieve over their inexcusable deaths.
These deaths, as well as others like them, and the protests that have flowed from the pain of centuries of injustice, serve as reminders that the sin of racism continues today to be a destructive force in our human relationships and society as a whole.
Athletes in Action stands in opposition to the evil systems of racism, oppression and injustice and will continue to take action in order to make ways for greater justice and equality.
We stand with the African-American community in the personal and corporate pain, and we stand against the assault against the Imago Dei. As such, we affirm the God-given dignity, worth and equality granted to all.
As human beings, we have been given the task of caring for, valuing and protecting people of every nation, tribe and tongue. This includes loving and honoring one another (Matthew 22:39, Romans 12:10), forgiving one another (Colossians 3:13), bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), and acting with justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8).
Over more than 50 years of history, Athletes in Action has failed many times to live out these mandates stated above. We lament and grieve when we have contributed to the problem, whether we have minimized, ignored, excluded or silenced the voice of any staff member, athlete or coach, particularly black men and women and other ethnic minorities.
We humbly confess and repent of these actions by turning toward the unmerited grace and favor of God, and asking our brothers and sisters for their forgiveness. As we allow God to remake our hearts, his Holy Spirit will give us the power to love and experience forgiveness with one another.
Sport is an important, shaping influence in the culture. As athletes across the world lend their voices to work against racism, we join them and together celebrate a collective voice that seeks to bring enduring change around the world.
The Athletes in Action family will continue to prioritize the ongoing relational work and organizational change related to oneness and ethnic diversity. This will require a continual and increased effort from majority culture staff members to lean in, listen well and seek to understand, again and again, from those who are different from us.
In this time of anguish and turmoil, we can all grow in how to listen, learn and move toward one another in relationship. The greatest change starts in the heart, and a regenerated heart is possible through Jesus and His offer of new and eternal life. God’s unconditional love for all people, demonstrated at Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection, can reshape and change our hearts, comfort those who grieve, heal broken relationships, give hope to the hopeless and change the world.