October 27, 2020

Former student athlete starts podcast to discuss world issues

Senior Blake Ferrell created a podcast titled “Blake’s Blackboard Stories” to allow athletes at Webster to discuss and share their thoughts on current issues.

Former Gorlok men’s basketball player, Blake Ferrell, recently added a new podcast to Webster’s sports page titled “Blake’s Blackboard Stories.” The podcast is a platform for student athletes, coaches and staff to share their thoughts and views on relevant worldly topics. This includes topics of racial injustice, the coronavirus and even religion, along with sports and athletics.

Ferrell, who is a senior sports communication major, said he started this podcast as an intern for Webster’s sports information office. Ferrell said after presenting the idea to Ben Greenberg, Webster’s sports information director, Greenberg was very excited.

“Without any sports, at least during the fall sports season, I thought this would be a great way to provide our website audience with some added content and also get the chance to feature our student-athletes, coaches and staff members,” Greenberg said on websterathletics.com.

Ferrell said since a podcast is something Webster athletics has never done before, he wanted to give it a shot. According to Ferrell, the athletic department has a lot of things going on which don’t get highlighted or talked about. He thought it would be a good idea for athletes to be able to voice themselves and voice their opinions.

Ferrell also said he thinks it is important for athlete’s voices to be heard on their opinions and concerns for what is going on in the world. He especially wanted to highlight the voices of Black athletes and their opinions on the injustice that has been going on.

“I think it’s important for athletes, especially Black athletes, to speak up because people will view athletes as just that, athletes and assets,” Ferrell said. “That’s not how we should view people. Just because they’re athletes and they are putting on a production for people doesn’t mean they don’t know what’s been going on in the world.”

Episode one of “Blake’s Blackboard Stories” featured senior forward from the women’s basketball team, Darieana Hunter. In this episode, Ferrell and Hunter covered hard topics such as racial injustice in America.

Hunter, being a criminology major at Webster University, hopes to use her degree and land a job in the FBI. She believes this country needs more people like her to get into higher ranked positions and make change happen.

“When I was a freshman, I had people guiding me and showing me this is right or this wrong,” Hunter said in episode one. “We have to reach out to our younger Black kids, the people that look just like us, and help them get to where we are and further.”

Ferrell said he understands how not all athletes want to voice their opinions on hard topics such as racial injustice. However, he thinks it is important to get the message out regardless because the injustice against the Black community has been going on for far too long.

According to Ferrell, Black athletes, and athletes in general, should use their platform to speak up for the Black community. He has taken notice of all the professional athletes in the country, including those in the NBA, NFL and MLB, who have taken a stand against racial injustice using their platform.

“They have all these younger viewers looking at them and a lot of people look at them as role models,” Ferrell said. “So when these people say, ‘This is not okay and not acceptable,’ [the younger viewers] are going to look at it from a different perspective. We tend to look up to [athletes], so I feel like it’s important that they send out a good message when it comes to their support for our community.”

Ferrell wants to use his podcast to get everyone’s opinion, not just Black athletes. He said this is an important topic to cover because he has experienced a lot of the things the Black community faces and he knows what it feels like.

“Blake’s Blackboard Stories”, according to Ferrell, gives listeners a new perspective on how athletes feel on a wide range of topics. He thinks it is important for athletes and people in the athletic program to get their message out and talk about whatever they wish to talk about.

“The best part about having my own podcast is talking to other athletes around the athletic program,” Ferrell said. “When I was playing basketball, I was so focused on my team and what’s going on around the basketball team my entire four years here. Now, I get to talk to everybody and I get to see what their point of view is like and I get to really pick their brain and see what they’ve been going through.”

“Blake’s Blackboard Stories” can be found on websterathletics.com/podcasts. A new episode will be posted every Saturday morning.

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