What do you think of when you see the word “twitter”? When I see it, I think avenue, opportunity, expression and open dialogue. Having used twitter since I was around 13 years old, I was always aware of what it could do as far as bringing people together and rallying around things but I witnessed it firsthand when I pressed send on one particular tweet.
As a lot of you know already, I am in the pursuit of a career in the lacrosse industry. I live and breathe lacrosse(surprising considering I didn’t play right?). This particular tweet has been something that has been on my mind ever since I got into the sport and the media of the sport. I was simply a newspaper kid in high school who was covering the school’s lacrosse team and then got lucky with a few interview stories that spring boarded me (Thanks Bill O’Brien and RJ Kaminsky) to where I am today.
In the midst of learning about and becoming obsessed with the game there was always one thing I thought was missing. Aside from the low hanging fruit that there aren’t a lot of minorities playing the sport(Shoutout to everyone working to change that) and that was the fact that frankly there are not a lot of minorities covering it. I have admired the work of Anish Shroff, The Alford Brothers and Chris Rosenthall among others for years and they do a great job covering the game we all love, but I just feel like if the sport is going to grow on the field, it needs to grow off it as well.
By no means am I saying go hire a media team of unqualified individuals but when I see snapshots of media teams covering college and pro lacrosse, I see room for diversity and opportunity. I am by no means diminishing the work of media teams in lacrosse, in fact they have taken the sport to tremendous heights that a lot of people in the previous generations didn’t think was possible. I just see room for growth in this space especially for people of color.
So that brings me back to my tweet, “We need more African Americans and minorities working in the lacrosse media and creative spaces. I said what I said.” I have always had this thought in my mind since late high school, just on this particular day and seeing some work done by good creators in the space and thinking about this year as a whole with everything going on in this country right now, I finally came up with the words to articulate this thought and tweeting out was just a simple spur of the moment I have the words let me put this out there and see what people think. I didn’t think the tweet would gain as much traction as it did, I honestly thought it would get lost between some sort of breaking news or funny meme to be honest. With that being said, I could care less how many likes or re-tweets it got but I’m glad it started a discussion of something that has been on my mind for awhile. I am glad it served as a platform for someone like Brandon Hill, a talented photographer to showcase his work and gain some attention for it. The biggest thing was it felt like for maybe the first time in my life, I felt a sense of truly being apart of a community.
Now, I said we need more minorities in the space, you might ask me how do we get this done? There is no one solution to this, its not a math problem with a right or wrong answer. I do think there are steps that need to be taken to achive this however, ones that are very similar to the ones we talk about when we discuss growing the game of lacrosse.
First, improve access. When I say access, I mean access to media education, computers, cameras and people in the industry. I was lucky that I had a journalism class in high school that was taught by a teacher who worked in the field(Shout-out to Mr. P at Arundel High if you’re reading this). Many kids of color do not have access and opportunities like this and that needs to be where we start.
Second is funding. Look a lot of media can simply be done via you’re phone but last time I checked phones aren’t cheap. Computers aren’t cheap. Neither is going to school for media or journalism(I’m experiencing that first -hand at this very moment). The more we are able to fund-raise, the more opportunities we can open up for others to get their career off the ground and allow them to showcase what we can do.
Last but not least is open- mindedness. People just be open-minded of others and their backgrounds. My background wasn’t in lacrosse and if it wasn’t for others opening doors for me I wouldn’t be in this space. Not everyone in the lacrosse world is a rich white person from the northeast. There are a ton of great people who care about the sport who didn’t play the game. I also mean open-mindless when it comes to color and gender. Again, as much as some people might think, this sport doesn’t judge. A few cowards might make it look that way but it doesn’t so its on us to showcase that to everyone and welcome anyone who takes on an interest with the sport.
As for myself, I continue to use this platform I have along with any future opportunities that arise to continue to grow this game for everyone so that they can love it as much as I do!
Have any future content suggestions? Feel free to drop in my twitter dm’s @jordan_john5 or send me an email at email@example.com