The Badger Conference, a long-time leader in Wisconsin high school athletics, has spoken out against last month’s death of George Floyd, and violence directed toward people of color.

A statement signed by conference school administrators said the Badger Conference is “committed to equity and educating our students about the deep-rooted racism present within our society and unfortunately in our schools.

“As a conference, we want our school communities to know that we stand alongside those that are condemning the death of George Floyd and the continued violence and use of excessive force against people of color. We need to respond to these tragic events, and we need to acknowledge the corrosive impact racism, bias, and inequity has had on any hope of equity in our communities.”

All Monona Grove High School sports programs are part of the Badger Conference.

McFarland is a member of the league in boys’ and girls’ swimming, and boys’ hockey.

“As a conference, we must all recognize our place in perpetuating inequities and acknowledge that if we don’t actively disrupt racism, we are part of the problem,” the statement continued.

“In order to serve our students and families, we must actively and aggressively deal with racism in our schools, our communities, and our institutional practices.

“The recent protests have brought to everyone’s attention how far we have to go in our communities and our nation to achieve equity for all, and as district leaders we are prioritizing the need for the necessary courageous conversations to be backed by school and district action.

We stand in support of equity, we stand in support of peaceful protestors, and we stand in support of a future in which all individuals in our communities feel safe and respected.”

Floyd died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on the back of his neck for better than eight minutes.

The incident sparked demonstrations in major cities including Madison and some of its surrounding communities.

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