SMAC Addresses Members Regarding Social Injustice

Shane Stender

Seattle Metropolitan Families -

I spent all of the last two nights watching the protests and am still processing what’s gone on the past few weeks.  In reality these issues have been going on for hundreds of years.  Some days, the life lessons are best taught in the pool. Today, those lessons are being taught by what is happening all around us.

We need to acknowledge that many families face everyday issues of racism and injustice in their daily lives.  SMAC needs to be an ally to those families and a positive example for our athletes.

Seattle Metropolitan Aquatic Club supports the peaceful protests and the movements, like Black Lives Matter, that bring attention to social injustice.  Watching the protestors with masks and signs with the words “I CAN’T BREATHE” on them, taking some of the last words of George Floyd and turning them into the cry of Black and Brown people across this nation is absolutely heartbreaking, and we cannot - should not - sit by and hope it all just goes away.   We must value the diversity of our membership and would like to voice our support for all swimmers and all people of color.  

Our team is built from the communities we all live in.  It is our community, our teammates, our family who are experiencing this.  SMAC exists to shape our young athletes into better humans as part growth to be the next leaders of our world.  We all have a role to play and instill in our children that racism has no place in our society.  Championing diversity makes us stronger. Embracing it makes us resilient. Embodying it makes us the place where great people and athletes want to be. Our Mission is to be, “An Inclusive Community Committed to Exemplary Performance.” I can think of no way to truly achieve the latter without the former.


Coach Ken