Her big moment came on the same weekend that Alabama received a record-breaking 105 first-place votes in the AP’s FBS media poll, marking the first time in the poll’s history a school earned top honors. She has offered solutions and frequently encouraged U.S. citizens to become involved in campaigns and protests. And one of the most visible members of UAB, the school she currently works for, is learning to embrace activism, citing the conversation her mother began in college to the problem of athletes being part of social issues.
Wallace, who started her career at the University of Missouri and didn’t know just how big a player her movement would become, spoke to the AJC and drew clear comparisons between her experiences and those of UAB supporters and students.
“Being an athlete, you have so much power. It’s not something you’re used to,” Wallace said. “The things you see in the world, you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s messed up.’ You’re always with school and academics and basketball. And then a lot of athletes aren’t used to these things, and they’re not raised like this and didn’t grow up like this. If you stay at that size, you’re not going to take a leadership role.”
That’s why I think we [athletes] have a lot to contribute to society. When the organization became like that, it was a lot for us to wrap our heads around and we didn’t realize that we could change the world, not even help just certain cities. But I’m thankful that we did.
Wallace’s husband, one of two people convicted of a bomb plot against Birmingham’s infamous 1963 16th Street Baptist Church, was released early in April of this year. She said she had not seen him “in so long” and “can’t tell you what it’s like,” but expressed her desire to get to know him better in the days leading up to her retirement.
(h/t: The Full Story)