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Simone Manuel Rewrites Athlete Activism With TYR Sport Inclusion Rider


(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Earlier this year, Simone Manuel, 2018 Honda Cup winner (awarded to the nation’s top collegiate women’s athlete), confirmed that she would forgo her final season of NCAA eligibility and turn pro. It came as no surprise that the dominant 14-time NCAA champion would pursue opportunities beyond Stanford University. Rather, after her historic performance at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio, many were in disbelief that four-time Olympic medalist did not seek endorsement deals sooner.

Last week, at the Phillips 66 National Championship, the nine-time World Championship medalist Manuel announced that she signed with her first professional sponsor, swimwear brand, TYR Sport. TYR’s impressive list of athlete partners includes Katie Ledecky, Lia Neal and Dana Vollmer; however, Manuel’s TYR contract is unprecedented because it contains an inclusion rider.

According to TYR, the partnership is said to be the first time that an inclusion rider has been built into an athlete sponsorship agreement.

“Through this stipulation Simone ensures that her partners extend meaningful opportunities to traditionally underrepresented groups and that diversity be reflected in the creative efforts she pursues with the brand,” said TYR in its press release. “TYR believes in the importance of diversity in the workplace and is proud to support Simone in her efforts to champion inclusion as both a best practice in business and a central tenet of her identity as a professional athlete.”

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Bethany College offers scholarship to free safety Antoinette Harris

by Adam Rittenberg


Image source: ESPN, Twitter

Antoinette “Toni” Harris wants to be the first woman to play in the NFL. On Wednesday, she moved a step closer to her goal when she received a scholarship offer from Bethany College, an NAIA school in Kansas.

Harris, who plays free safety for East Los Angeles College in California, will become one of the first female non-kickers on a college football roster — and may be the first to receive a scholarship offer. In 2014, cornerback Shelby Osborne signed with Campbellsville University in Kentucky, an NAIA school, but it’s unknown if she received a scholarship.

Last April, Becca Longo, a kicker from Arizona, became the first woman to sign a letter of intent to play college football at the Division II level or higher. Longo is a freshman at Division II Adams State in Colorado, where she is playing for both the football and women’s basketball teams.

Harris tweeted about the offer Wednesday night, and both she and Bethany College coach Paul Hubbard confirmed it to ESPN on Thursday.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Harris said. “It’s overwhelming but exciting at the same time.”

NAIA schools can offer partial athletic scholarships, but athletes also can qualify for academic aid, which Harris does as an honors student at East Los Angeles College. Bethany assistant coach Tyrone Carter, who had previously coached at East Los Angeles, informed the coaching staff about Harris last week, and they decided to extend her an offer Wednesday.

“We were absolutely interested,” Hubbard said. “She definitely has the skill set. We’re always looking outside the box or inside the box to find players. We watched her compete against the kids out there.”

Several women have kicked for major college teams, including Katie Hnida at Colorado and New Mexico, and April Goss at Kent State, but none received scholarships to come to school.

“Plenty of females that have played,” Hubbard said. “But [Harris] would be the first at a skill position.”

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