Professional athletes stand against racism

Across the country, the sports world has been taking a stand against racism and police brutality. Right after the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times by the police in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 23rd, many players refused to play any of their games and instead went on a protest for him. 

The first to take a stand was the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks from their home state. The team offered and posted a full statement together on Twitter.

Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.”

The stand quickly spread across many sports and their associations such as NHL, MLB, WNBA, NFL and more. Players such as tennis’s Naomi Osaka, soccer’s Lee Nguyen, baseball’s Lewis Brinson, and many more decided it would be appropriate to postpone their games or not play no matter how important they were. They knew in order to support the “Black Lives Matter” community they had to use the popularity to bring more attention to the movement. 

In the past many Black NBA players, who compose 75% of the NBA, have shown their support by wearing t-shirts with messages. They have also worn uniforms with political and social messages instead of their names. 

However, they knew this time they had to take a much bigger action with a stronger message. They realized everyday Black Americans are suffering and grabbing fans’ attention with shirts was not helping the Black community. 

The public is amazed with the decision many of the players took even if they wanted to watch their favorite athletes to play. Before the game was canceled many Milwaukee fans had gathered outside Fiserv Forum for a watch party, and even when the game was canceled many remained there an hour after the announcement to support the players decision.  

“As a fan I of course wanted to see teams play,”said Mr. Mariano, the Athletic Director at Naugatuck High School. “ As an Athletic Director I can empathize with their decision. I would imagine many of the NBA players felt that ‘enough is enough’ and that we must do something powerful to get the attention of others. However, my stance is that if our players believed so strongly in something and wanted to make the decision to not play for the greater good of our community then I would stand by them because they believe that it is the right decision to make.”

Many of the NBA commentators are also proud of the players who decided to step away from the courts. 

“I respect the guys. I respect their wishes. I respect everybody’s thought and processes with how they deal with certain things. African-Americans are fed up, people that care are fed up and something has to change,” said Shaquille O’Neal on Fox News. 

Believe it or not, even after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson and many more, countless number of people from the Black community are still suffering from police brutality and racial injustice. 

“Until we continue to demand it, until ‘Black Lives Matter’ goes from just an idea or a goal that we’re trying to attain as a society and is actually realized in the streets, we won’t see any peace,” said Malcolm Jenkins of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. 

The Bucks used their voices to take a stand for the BLM Movement and have made history in the Sports World. They joined together as a team and unified their decision. They showed everyone, in order to support the Black community they had to take bigger steps to deliver and spread their message. 

Who knows when racism will officially end, but for now we do know if we stick together, like all the athletes did, through all sports, we can spread the message to support the Black community together.