Speak out is a call to conversation - to talk about issues that matter to our community. Conversations big and small that are important for women, the sport, and the world. We catch up with Kara to hear about what's on her mind, and what 'speak out' means to her!
What does 'speak out' mean to you?
To me, to 'speak out' means to use your voice when it can make a difference. It may mean being the primary voice, or, it may mean adding yours to someone else’s to help to the collective cause. But it means that you say what you feel, not in a way to disrespect anyone else - but to help others see why you feel strongly about an issue. To help people walk in your footsteps and feel what you feel.
What's it like in practice?
It is so hard! It’s hard because you are afraid to disrespect someone else’s opinion. You don’t want to be polarizing, you want to be liked! You are so afraid you will alienate someone who used to care about you. That is why it’s hard, but it is so important. So many people don’t have the opportunity to use their voice because of fear. But the moment one person takes stand, people can join in with that person. It’s not as scary to say what you believe in when you are joining a group of people that believe the same thing. And the more voices together, the stronger it becomes. But we must have one person to take that first step.
Tell us about an issue that matters to you?
The Clean Sport Collective. It is the first time that elites, companies, athletes of all levels, and fans can come together on the issue of doping. We can take the pledge and hold each other accountable to support only clean athletes and clean sport. Imagine if people said they would only buy product from companies that took the pledge and do not stay with athletes that have had a doping conviction. If companies who didn’t take the pledge felt the effects of the lost revenue, they would have to take a hard look at what message their company is sending. There is so much power in your purchasing dollars. The Clean Sport Collective is working on putting out a list of the companies that have taken a pledge and we can actually make real change. Also, people joining together saying they won’t tolerate doping in sport anymore is so powerful. To have fans, athletes of all sports and abilities, and companies come together, real change is possible. We are at a tipping point right now, people are tired of all of the doping scandals. We are ready to make change and focus on positive stories.
How can get involved?
Taking the pledge and spending your dollars wisely. If there is a company that continually supports athletes with complicated pasts, don’t buy their products. Take the pledge, get your run family to take it. Continue to speak about the need for clean athletes. Don’t stop talking, don’t stop demanding change. We can do this! One day at a time.
When we speak out, women are a force for change. Join the challenge. #StandUpSpeakOut - and tell us what matters to you.