MAAC Announces Time Out for Black Lives Program

The Metro Athletic Conference (MAAC) announced their new program, “Time Out for Black Lives,” which aims to inspire and educate the youth as well as other athletes, families and fans. Senior forward Melik Martin represents Monmouth in this newly launched program.

“Time Out for Black Lives” has a website where coaches and athletes from MAAC basketball programs contribute their time to read children’s books that focus on Black culture, history, music and myths. It comes as part of the MAAC’s United for Justice campaign that they announced over the Summer.

The United for Justice Campaign was instated in response to the racial injustice that is ongoing in society. The MAAC will stand with the “Black Lives Matter” movement and continue to find ways to help address the national issue of systematic racism.

The “Time Out for Black Lives” program comes as a part of this campaign and serves to help educate people about the sides of Black history they may not be learning in school.

The “Time Out for Black Lives” website says, “It is our dream that with a ball and a moving story, we can celebrate the greatness of Black culture in a positive way.”      

Videos posted on the website will feature short biographies on the student athletes or coaches representing the program. The representative’s page will also include information such as their hometown, favorite book, and favorite basketball player. The website also provides resource guides, called “Let’s Talk About It,” to help parents and teachers start a discussion with the children who view these videos.

“The ‘Time Out for Black Lives’ program is something the MAAC and its member institutions have been excited about launching for quite some time as we worked with our partners in Greece and the MAAC SAAC and basketball coaches and student athletes,” said MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor.

“It’s an excellent way to give back to local schools and expand the familiarity of our basketball programs while also teaching important aspects of Black history to our youth,” he continued. “Teaching children about these important parts of history is so important now more than ever, and the MAAC is proud to give back to its communities.”

Melik Martin represents Monmouth in the “Time Out for Black Lives” program run by the MAAC. In his video, he reads the book I Am Every Good Thing, written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James.

The biography for his page is friendly for a younger audience, as it gives a short summary of when he started to play basketball and his accolades as a high schooler.

Another representative that took part in this program is Iona Head Coach Rick Pitino. Pitino is an icon in the realm of college basketball, as he led Kentucky to a National Championship in 1996 and led Louisville to the National Championship in 2013. Now, Pitino is using his platform as a legendary basketball coach to help support Black lives and the social injustice they face in this nation.

“We hope this program is just one of many included in the conference’s United for Justice campaign,” said Ensor. “Kudos to all involved in this project and for their support of social justice initiatives.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics