Dove Men + Care continues its commitment to CARE Now, its partnership with the National Basketball Association to honor and celebrate the humanity of black men with its March Madness campaign called “Off Court Champs”.
The campaign celebrates and features former NCAA student athletes who have been named chief executive officer, attorney, and artist among others. According to a 2020 study by Dove Men + Care and Joy Collective titled “Bias Against Black Men: A Study of Stereotypes, Perceptions, and the Impact on Black Men and Boys,” white men likely described a black man as an athlete above any other profession when shown with a picture of said man. The campaign aims to reverse these limiting stereotypes and misrepresentations.
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Dove Men + Care is also working with the NCAA to launch virtual workshops called Off Court Clinics, where the Off Court Champs provide career guidance to current NCAA student-athletes.
The brand has selected seven former NCAA athletes as Champs, three of whom are former NBA players, including the writer and founder of Democracy Matters and the Kerosene Lamp Foundation Adonal Foyle. Terry Dehere, who played for Seton Hall and made six seasons in the NBA helping rebuild and support his community in South Orange, New Jersey, and slam dunk competition winner Desmond Mason, who retired from the NBA realized his dream in 2010, became an artist and won the UN Athlete for Peace Award in 2016 for his talent and philanthropic work.
Other participants include Onaje XO Woodbine, who was voted one of the ten best student athletes in the Ivy League at Yale. He later studied philosophy and religious studies and received his doctorate there. at Boston University and wrote the book “Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop and Street Basketball” in 2016; Michael C. Thorpe, an artist who makes large-format portraits using quilting techniques inspired by African American quilters from Gee Bend Alabama; Terrance Hayes, who received a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997 and is Professor of English at New York University; and Justin Drummond, founder of cybersecurity and training company SparkC and CEO of Execz Suit Company.
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“Being a part of this initiative is important to me because I care about the image of black men,” said Drummond, a former Division I student athlete who advanced to the NCAA championships at Loyola University Maryland.
Drummond started playing basketball when he was five and said his career started after he got his growth spurt in 10th grade. During his college career, he won an MAAC conference championship, had all-rookie honors, was named 6th Man of the Year, and made an appearance at an NCAA tournament in 2012, and moved to the University of Toledo, where we have a MAC – Won championship in the regular season. He started SparkC in 2013, which inspired him to start the Execz Suit Company.
“The image of black men is extremely important to me and how we dress is the first judge,” said Drummond. “Providing this access from a community source is focused on helping the community by lowering prices and increasing quality. The typical track for a college D1 basketball player is to play three or four years, graduate and play overseas, or for less than 1 percent going to the NBA. I wanted to be that example, to show our black men that we can use basketball as a way to build our lives off the field. “
Dove Men + Care invites everyone to sign a pledge on the Commit to CARE Now website to break down harmful stereotypes and learn more about the Off Court Champs.
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