BSU softball team selling stickers to benefit Black Lives Matter

Beavers Against Injustice cropped.jpg
The Bemidji State softball team is selling stickers with messages against racism and injustice, such as the one pictured here. All the proceeds will be donated to Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. (Screenshot by author)

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State softball team wants to make a difference.

That’s why the Beavers have started a fundraiser selling stickers with messages against racism and injustice . All the proceeds will be donated to Black Lives Matter Minneapolis.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death last month at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, the team recently held a Zoom call where players and coaches discussed racism. But they wanted to do more than just communicate about the topic.

Outfielder Gabi Bingham, a graphic design major, realized she could put her skills to good use. With input from her teammates, Bingham created a set of five stickers with messages like “Beavers Against Injustice”; “Black Lives Matter”; “Use your voice, Stand up to racism”; “Be the Change”; and one with an image of Floyd.

“It was kind of just a call to action at that point,” she said. “How can myself and my team create a difference in our community at Bemidji?”


Bingham received the approval of BSU Black Student Union President Zoe Christensen, an All-American track and field athlete for the Beavers. Athletic Director Tracy Dill signed off on it and the fundraiser went live Tuesday, June 9.

The idea of using stickers came from a campaign for mental health organized by the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee last fall.

“Everybody put a green bandana on their backpack to show that, if you need somebody to talk to, we’re there for you,” Bingham said. “That’s kind of what I thought of when I was thinking of the stickers. Have something that you can put on a water bottle or a laptop and people will see it and know that you are with them.”

Conversations about racism are taking place across the country, including at a variety of athletic programs, and that’s no different at Bemidji State.

“I just think that being around here, some people maybe aren’t as exposed to it as others, so I think it’s just important people talk about it,” interim head coach Brittany Gomez said, “since we all have friends and family of different races and backgrounds, to just be able to consider them and make sure that we’re all on the same page that, obviously, we’re all equal and that we communicate about it and see what we can do to bring awareness for it too.”

“Our whole team is predominantly white, and so to have Brittany talk to us and just to get together and have that conversation I think was really important,” Bingham said, “because there might be some people who aren’t comfortable having those conversations. But it’s time that we do that and it’s long overdue. I’m just glad that everybody’s all in and we’re doing it together as a team and as a school.”

The team also emphasized the importance of speaking out against racism when you encounter it.

“As a teammate, I think the number one thing that we were talking about is don’t be afraid to call people out,” Bingham said. “Even if it is just a silly joke to them, it’s really not. That’s what we talked about and just holding each other accountable and sticking up for people.”


More than 70 stickers had been sold as of Thursday afternoon. The team plans to soon begin selling car decals with hopes that the stickers will be a common sight on campus this fall.

“We want to keep talking about it,” Bingham said. “We don’t just want it to be this month. We want it to be an ongoing conversation.”

Austin Monteith is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he is a 2015 graduate of Butler University. Follow him on Twitter at @amonteith92. Contact the Pioneer sports department at
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