To Tia Nelson, Managing Director for Climate Change at the Outrider Foundation — a non-partisan nonprofit that “imagines a world where people live without fear of climate-induced catastrophe or nuclear war” — there is an under-reported aspect as to why humanity hasn’t acted faster on climate.

“Too often, climate advocacy groups speak primarily to those who are already concerned,” Nelson shared. “We have to broaden our efforts to reach a larger audience so we can build the political will for action addressing the greatest environmental challenge of our time. We need to reach people where they are and help everyone understand the urgency of action. Athletes in particular have the ability to do that.”

Tia Nelson (Photo credit: Outrider Foundation)

The massive social power of athletes is the reason Outrider Foundation has become an Organizational Supporter of EcoAthletes.

“EcoAthletes can be an enormous help for Outrider by preaching beyond the ‘Green Choir’ with authentic climate messaging,” said Nelson. “People respect and listen to their favorite players and we are excited that EcoAthletes is educating athletes to speak out on climate change.”

Outrider Foundation and EcoAthletes have one athlete in common already: Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brent Suter is a member of the EcoAthletes advisory board and is the Wisconsin-based Outrider Foundation’s first Athlete Ambassador.

“Brent is a personal inspiration to me,” offered Nelson. “He is a great pitcher on the field and a true climate leader off the field. He speaks out on climate change and the power of individual action. Brent walks the talk by promoting his Strike Out Waste campaign to encourage reusable water bottles and avoid single use plastics whenever possible, installing solar power on his home, learning to grow his own vegetables, and composting food waste. He also advocates for a government carbon pricing policy as a way to address our carbon pollution problem. We are excited to partner with EcoAthletes to amplify Brent’s message as well as those of his fellow EcoAthletes Champions.”

“Outrider Foundation is an organization devoted to climate solutions and climate action,” said EcoAthletes founder Lew Blaustein. “We look forward to working with Outrider to provide new platforms through which our Athlete Champions can help build the #ClimateComeback.”

You can follow Outrider Foundation on Twitter and Instagram at @OutriderFdn. And you can follow Tia Nelson on Twitter and Instagram at @tialeenelson