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On one of the biggest nights for athletes in the U.S., a 19-year-old sophomore guard for the University of Connecticut captivated and challenged us all with her acceptance speech. Paige Bueckers, a sophomore guard for UCONN, devoted her acceptance speech after winning the award for Best Female College Athlete to Black women in her sport and across America.
“With the light that I have now, as a white woman who leads a Black-led sport, I wanna [shine] a light on Black women. They don’t get the media coverage that they deserve. They’ve given so much to the sport, community, and society as a whole. Their value is undeniable. In the WNBA last season, the post-season awards 80% of the winners were Black, but they got half the amount of coverage as white athletes. So I think it’s time for change.”
Bueckers just finished her freshman season at UConn where she led her team to a 28-2 record and won both the John R. Wooden and Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year awards, awards given to the top female college basketball players.
Paige shows others how to be an ally
“Sports media holds the key to storylines. Sports media and sponsors tell us who was valuable, and you have told the world that I mattered today, and everyone who voted, thank you,” Bueckers said. “But I think we should use this power together to also celebrate Black women.”
"To all the incredible Black women in my life, on my teams. To Breonna Taylor and all the lives lost. To those names I have not yet learned but I hope to share — I stand behind you and I will continue to follow you and follow your lead and fight for you guys.”
— Paige Bueckers pic.twitter.com/uhGiMAYHSu
— ESPN (@espn) July 11, 2021
Bueckers ended her speech and received a standing ovation from the audience as well as praise all over the internet from athletes.
“So to Maria Taylor, Robin Roberts, Maya Moore, Odicci Alexander. To all the incredible Black women in my life and on my teams. To Breonna Taylor and all the lives lost, and to those names who are not yet learned, but I hope to share, I stand behind you and I continue to follow you, follow your lead and fight for you guys so I just want to say thank you for everything.”
Paige Bueckers showed the world Saturday night how to use her white-privilege, and how to be an ally to the Black community.