Alumna Kayla Thompson '17 Spearheads BLM Initiative for Student-Athletes
Spartan alumna Kayla Thompson ‘17 has been busy the last few weeks. Not only has she continued to diligently prepare for her fall season with Brown University’s NCAA Div. I women’s soccer team, she also has spearheaded an initiative to educate and connect student-athletes and teams to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Thompson and her Brown teammates made a unified decision to stand together against systemic oppression. With the support of their coach, Kia McNeill, the squad wrote a statement of solidarity and created the #WorkoutForBLM to share with other student-athletes and teams across the country.
“After a historic season, we had a lot of people's attention, and we wanted to use this platform to make a difference,” Thompson said. “I proposed a workout video that our team could put together that included both educational and fundraising components.”
Thompson graduated from St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, in 2017 and left a lasting impression on the school’s Soccer Academy members and varsity soccer team. Coach Shane Maguire, director of the St. Stephen’s Soccer Academy, was not the least bit surprised when he heard of Thompson’s great initiative.
“Kayla was an incredible student who worked hard on and off the field,” Maguire said. “While she’s as competitive and as intense as they come, she found ways to thoughtfully connect with each member of her team, regardless of differences in personality and playing styles.”
Thompson, who earned Brown’s “Ridgely Most Valuable Player” team award after a record-setting 2019 season, believes the video could help bring athletes, coaches and fans in the athletic community together. When asked about takeaways from the experience, Thompson said, “I hope that everyone who participates truly sees that these aren’t just names to be put on signs. These are people — just like you and me — and each and every one of these black lives matters.”
To read more about the #WorkoutfForBLM and to participate, click here.