Barry Alvarez releases statement on UW’s commitment to change, says ‘Black lives matter’

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying ‘Black Lives Matter.’

In the statement released by UW Athletics on Twitter, Alvarez wrote: “I was a college student-athlete in the 1960s. Change happened then, but we are still dealing with many of the same issues 50 years later. We have another opportunity now. Let’s work together to make sure we don’t waste it.

Wednesday’s statement comes less than two weeks after Alvarez’s initial statement on the social justice issues and protests across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

On May 29, Alvarez said he was “greatly saddened and angered” at Floyd’s death at the hands of an ex-Minneapolis police officer.

Alvarez said UW is committed to “leading change” and that while “change is not easy, it is important, and it starts with us.”

He referred to former Badger Michael Jackson, who was added to the senior administrative team in January and was given oversight of all of the program’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

“Change will come when each of us looks within ourselves and decides to act,” Alvarez wrote Wednesday. “I ask our current and former student-athletes, as well as our coaches, staff and community members, to hold each other — and our department — accountable for creating change.”