1870 Mag

Game Changer Program Hopes To Open The Dialogue

Former OSU faculty and alumni come together in hopes of creating a conversation between law enforcement and the public .

It’s no secret there has been social unrest among members of communities around the country and the local law enforcement that protects them, specifically among members of non-white races.

Major social problems like this need a response and OSU’s former strength and conditioning coach Sean Sheppard, founder of Game Changer, is giving us just that.

Formed in the wake of controversial shootings of unarmed black American men in 2015, the Game Changer project seeks to bring together community members, law enforcement, judicial and legislative branches of government to discuss social issues and form relationships while using the platform of sports to engage in conversation.

Violence has proven itself an ineffective response to violence, so Sheppard created a better, alternate option to keep our communities safe and growing.

Members of the Columbus community, law enforcement, and athletes met at the Schottenstein Center prior to the Ohio State basketball game against Penn State. Among members were Game Changer Founder Sean Sheppard, Columbus Police Chief Kimberly Jacobs, OSU basketball legend and current lead CBS Sports college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg, and former NFL star wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

The four joined together for a press conference before participating in a roundtable-style meeting in an attempt to advance relationships between all ends of the community.

The former NFL star promised longtime friend Sheppard he would make an appearance, this time flying in from Florida for the meeting.

Boldin—who retired from football less than a year ago to become a full-time activist—when asked about why he became involved almost laughed off the question stating, “Why am I involved? That’s simple, I’m a citizen.”

Having the program expand to Ohio State’s campus was important for Buckeye lover Clark Kellogg, seeing it as, “a good opportunity to bring a great program to our [city].”

The former OSU basketball star believes “It gives people a chance to see each other for who they are.” Kellogg then followed up with his belief that these tragedies occur because of lack of relationship and interaction..

So why sports? Well, for Kellogg, it’s the best common ground for people.

He said he would even go as far to say it’s better than food, but not by much, getting a laugh out of the room.

Unfortunately the home team ended up losing a high scoring affair 82-79 to the Nittany Lions, but thanks to Game Changer, the Columbus community still got a dub in the Schott on Thursday.

Kyle Schmidt

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