Howard University Swim & Dive Team Covers ‘Sports Illustrated’ In HBCU First – Salute!

Just in time for Black History Month, Sports Illustrated has featured Howard University’s Swim & Dive Team on one of its new digital Daily Covers. It marks the first time an all-Black swim team has achieved such recognition on the popular sports platform.

Gearing its editorial platform in a more digital direction following a jarring list of layoffs earlier this week, SI is doing what it can to assure loyal readers that its new shift into “quantity over quality” will be successful. With moves like this, it’s a promising start.

“As a mid-major, Howard may never be on the level of powerhouse NCAA swim factories like Stanford, Texas, and Virginia, where success is measured in national championships. Yet the Bison’s achievement feels more significant for the beacon the program is becoming within a sport that’s traditionally failed to reach Black athletes. While college swims attendance, even at the most dominant programs, is often measured by the number of parents who show up, Howard routinely packs its stands with students, university staff, and other locals. On this afternoon, the Bisonette dance team will perform poolside; the DJ will pump his music. Fans will blow horns and cheer and chant. The meet will end with 100 swimmers from each of the teams lining their respective sides of the pool and celebrating the 2022–23 Howard squad’s signature addition to the traditional handshake line: dancing to Fast Life Yungstaz’s ‘Swag Surfin’.’

‘Nobody in America can offer what we have in our pool,’ Askew says as he gets another handshake. ‘Where else are you going to see this?’ It’s a rhetorical question, of course. There is no swim team in the U.S. like the one at Howard. This 155-year-old institution produces Black doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses, architects, journalists, musicians, and actors, and now is seeing its potential—and sudden influence—in a place hardly anyone could have imagined.”

The feature in its entirety is worth the read. Also, it includes a full editorial spread that gives a vivid look into how this dynamic team is making modern-day Black history on a collegiate level. We salute you!

“Battle at the Burr”: Howard vs. Georgetown Swim Meet

Sports Illustrated Article

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