WARTBURG ATHLETICS AIMS FOR DIVERSITY IN TEAMS

NICK THOMPSON, TRUMPET SPORTS EDITOR

Wartburg College has over 200 students of color out of 1,500. Of that number, 121 are international students, who make up 21% of the total enrollment of the college, according to the diversity page on the Wartburg website.  

Diversity has been at the forefront of social topics, at Wartburg and within Wartburg sports recently. For instance, the men’s soccer held a demonstration of unity. 

  “I think Wartburg is doing a good job honestly. With the recruiting classes we get each year, even though I am a second-year I know first-hand Wartburg is really stepping up and trying to diversify their teams,” said Deyton Love, second-year track and field athlete.   

  Within each sport, there seems to be a standout figure that is trying to promote diversity. On the track and field team, that would be head coach Marcus Newsom, who is one of a few coaches of color in the ARC.  

  “Coach Newsom has done a tremendous job at finding kids who are extremely talented with different backgrounds,” Love said.   

  Teams are also promoting diversity within the program and the college.  

  “In the past, we have gone to a talk that Pastor Brian [Beckstrom] gave about the Black Lives Matter movement and race on campus. It was a really good move by the coaches to show that they really care about social issues here on campus and they stand with the diverse players,” Nnamdi Onuigbo, second-year basketball player, said.   

  Although Love and Onuigbo are different people who came to Wartburg from different backgrounds, diversity to them is similar.  

  “Diversity to me means being inclusive and tolerant of all people no matter their backgrounds. It also means actively welcoming them to communities like Wartburg,” Onuigbo said.  

  Love added: “Diversity to me honestly is when there is a lot of different people around you, not only with ethnicities and backgrounds but also things deeper than that. Sexual orientation for example, little things like that make things diverse.” 

  Beyond people of color, there are also members of the LBGTQ+ community at Wartburg who are participating in sports 

  “There are a few of us on the team, me being one of them, I know of a couple of people on the distance side,” Love said about being LGBTQ on the track team.  

  Even though being a part of the LGBTQ+ community has become more accepted, it still has its challenges.   

  “There is definitely a stigma when it comes to being gay on a sports team. It took me until my senior year in high school to embrace who I was. Kids are definitely scared to be alienated and discriminated against because they are gay or they are a part of the community.  

  There are students who believe there is still work to be done at Wartburg.  

“Within the Black community, it’s just hard to see not a lot of people that look like you here at Wartburg. Even though both communities are minorities here, some issues don’t impact us (the Black community) like they do the international students and vice versa,” Onuigbo said.  

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