The New Coach’s Shoes: Stony Brook University football player to return to practice on Rainbow shoes

When Stony Brook University safety Carl Nassib returned to practice on Monday for the start of the team’s training camp, the star defender, who announced he was gay last year, chose cleats to honor his community. The shoes, rainbow-colored, pay tribute to Rainbow, the organization that promotes inclusion and makes a powerful statement about diversity and inclusion.

“Stony Brook University is a place for all students to succeed, and that starts with an inclusive and positive campus environment,” Nassib said in a statement. “Stony Brook has a unique tradition of academic freedom and responsibility and our students and faculty are truly leaders in this field. I am honored and humbled to have been selected to carry out this important project and put my shoes on the field with such optimism.”

Nassib said he chose the name Rainbow to show support for the LGBTQ community. “As an organization that has created great programs and inspires others, Rainbow is the perfect name for the cleats,” he said.

(Nassib has made the announcement on college sports’ biggest stage before: At a signing ceremony in a room full of fellow athletes and students, Nassib told reporters he “would never be quiet about who I am or about my sexuality” last August, just days after coming out to the general public.)

For the Rainbow cleats, the design was designed by Kevin Beggs, an activist and filmmaker who leads the Warrior Project, an organization that supports LGBTQIA+ youth. Beggs used inspiration from rainbow flags, which he said represent the “life-long journey for marginalized communities to feel welcome at institutions of higher learning.”

Beggs added, “We are proud of Carl for choosing to represent this cause with his cleats, and look forward to see how Stony Brook athletics and the wider Stony Brook community stand up for inclusion and respect.”

Take a look at the two sets of cleats:

Aaron Miles also designed the cleats. Here they are next to each other:

Carl Nassib’s new rainbow cleats are out! He spoke to @kristenmcgreevy (@ESPNMcGlynn) on how the colors represent greater freedom & equality, and hopes to inspire others in the process: pic.twitter.com/OcFwmabTcs — Dan Sullivan (@KSullivan9) August 14, 2018

Those who would like to take a look at a pair of sandals may do so here.

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