On February 14, UC Davis junior Alexis Brown captured the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week honors for the second time in 2017 and the third time in her career, but she has received recent attention for her taking a knee during the national anthem prior to meets as a symbolic protest of the anthem’s connection to the systemic issue of police brutality against black and brown bodies.
ASUCD Office of Advocacy and Student Representation has written the following letter in support of Ms. Brown:
The ASUCD Office of Advocacy and Student Representation is in solidarity with UC Davis Women’s Gymnast, Alexis Brown, who recently began taking a knee during the national anthem prior to meets as a symbolic protest of the anthem’s connection to the systemic issue of police brutality against black and brown bodies.
Alexis is a Black gymnast who has won multiple accolades and awards, including, but not limited to, MPSF champion on uneven bars, first Aggie to earn at-large event berths in multiple events, and the only Aggie to podium at all three MPSF events.
Her awards should speak for themselves, but instead, her actions of protest have been met with disapproval from her coaches and teammates alike, and harassment from fans.
At a recent meet, in which she noted that she performed the “best vault of her life,” she received uncharacteristically low scores for what she believes to be discrimination due to her kneeling during the national anthem.
Alexis’ limited support has taken a toll on her morale and more importantly, disheartened her as a member of the UC Davis population that is only comprised of 3% African Americans.
Moreover, Alexis and other marginalized student athletes deserve better from the athletic department. No student athlete should be feel penalized or isolated for their beliefs.
We, the members of OASR, want to reiterate our support for Alexis and students in similar positions, and urge all others, including ASUCD Senate, to reaffirm their support and solidarity as well.
The members of the Office of Advocacy and Student Representation will be attending Alexis’ upcoming gym meets to support her, alongside members of the African Diaspora community. We highly encourage other allies to come out in support as well.
The next meets at the UC Davis Pavilion are as follows:
February 17th 7:00pm
February 19th 1:00pm
February 24th 7:00pm
March 10th 7:00pm
ASUCD Office of Advocacy and Student Representation
Georgia Savage, Director, Office of Advocacy and Student Representation
Sarah Shemery, Deputy Director, Office of Advocacy and Student Representation
Maya Sadler, Black Family Weeks/Day Co-Coordinator, Cross Cultural Center
Samantha Chiang, ASUCD Senator
Ricardo Martinez, ASUCD Senator
Julienne Correa, Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission Chairperson
Sara Williams, External Affairs Commission Chairperson