ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Despite its Native American origins, lacrosse is predominantly played by wealthy white people. In light of enhanced racial awareness and recent protests, some lacrosse players are speaking out about the lack of diversity in the sport.
According to the NCAA, 2.8% of men’s lacrosse players are black, and that number drops to 2.3% on the women’s side. Niskayuna product Kayla Treanor can attest to that. She’s played with just one black athlete through all of high school, college, and the U.S. national team. The Boston College assistant coach has been actively supporting the Black Lives Matter movement with her voice both on social media, and by having difficult conversations with other members of the lacrosse community.
“It’s really easy for white people to say, ‘Oh yes, black people are disadvantaged,’ but what’s really hard is to admit that you are the one receiving those benefits,” Treanor, who majored in Cultural Foundations in Education at Syracuse, explained. “So you might not be partaking in racism verbally, but by benefiting from the systems in place, you are partaking in it. And that’s a really hard think for people to come to terms with.”
She said people within the lacrosse community have to educate themselves, and the sport needs to find a way to become more accessible to different communities.