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'We’re more than athletes': OSU's Jarrick Bernard-Converse appears in Big 12 PSA against racism, social injustice

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State defensive back Jarrick Bernard-Converse wanted to be part of the message.

When he was recently approached about being in the Big 12’s public-service announcement “You See Us Differently” to confront racism and social injustice, Bernard-Converse saw a big opportunity.

“Because of all this stuff that’s going on — like Black Lives Matter and stuff like that — I just felt really important to be in it and involved because we're in some crazy times now,” Bernard-Converse said. “I feel like that message needs to be heard on athletes.”

Bernard-Converse and teammate Tre Sterling were both in the video, which was released Wednesday and features more than 40 football players from the Big 12 as part of an anti-racism, anti-hate campaign. 

The video shows how fans come together to cheer and support student-athletes but some fans still don’t see the same student-athletes as equal off the field.

“At the end of the day, football ends eventually for everyone,” Bernard-Converse said. “You’re not just going to be a football player the rest of your life, so I feel like you gotta look at the other side of life and the other things besides just football.

“We’re more than athletes.”


OSU jumped to the forefront of the player empowerment movement and fight against racial injustice over the summer behind star running back Chuba Hubbard. He spoke up for change within the program after coach Mike Gundy was pictured wearing a T-shirt from One America News Network, a far-right, pro-Donald Trump cable news network rated by Media Bias/Fact Check as being "not a credible news source”

Hubbard was also involved in the “We Want to Play” initiative and was vocal against racial injustice.

Many teammates supported Hubbard and still do.

“That’s our teammate, our brother,” Bernard-Converse said. “We’re gonna stand behind him.

“We just feel like our voices aren’t always heard. People look down on us and tell us, ‘Don’t worry about what’s going on. Just keep playing your sport.’ Stuff like that, so of course we had his back.”

Related Photos
Oklahoma State's Jarrick Bernard-Converse celebrates a play in the third quarter against Kansas last season. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma State's Jarrick Bernard-Converse celebrates a play in the third quarter against Kansas last season. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c390610fbf11012da4f49d26f94b4ea9.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State's Jarrick Bernard-Converse celebrates a play in the third quarter against Kansas last season. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma State's Jarrick Bernard-Converse celebrates a play in the third quarter against Kansas last season. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma State's Jarrick Bernard-Converse celebrates a play in the third quarter against Kansas last season. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Jacob Unruh

Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the... Read more ›

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