Systemic racism and biased media reporting have perpetuated a false and damaging narrative that Black male athletes are only succeeding on the court. When shown an image of a Black man, studies show that people are more likely to assume he is an athlete than any other profession.
Dove Men+Care is committed to changing the way society treats and sees Black men. During March Madness, Dove recruited seven “Off Court Champs,” all former NCAA athletes turned CEOs, lawyers, artists and so much more - to inspire the next generation of college athletes while challenging viewers’ stereotypes and assumptions. These champs included CEO Justin Drummond, poet Terrance Hayes, quilt artist Michael C. Thorpe, philosopher Onaje X.O. Woodbine, author Adonal Foyle, artist Desmond Mason, and politician Terry Dehere.
In addition to spots that aired during March Madness, we illustrated each man’s story - in his own words - using basketballs as a canvas. For all of them, success on the court is only part of the story.
These basketballs were delivered to media and influencers with accompanying research calling on them to change the way they portray Black men in media, and warn them of the dangers of a one-sided story.
Jamie Cordwell, Haley Ray Constance Leonard, Megan Skelly