Updated: Jan 25, 2021
by Jon Dennis
LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and other members of the Los Angeles Lakers kneel during the National Anthem before a July game. (Photo: Getty.)
Professional athletes are using their national platform to speak up on social matters in today's society and how they intend to combat social injustice. These athletes have boycotted their own games, spoken up on issues during interviews, along with raising awareness by wearing apparel of issues they would like to bring attention to.
Recently, many athletes have taken a more prominent role in the fight against social issues such as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. This has caused an uproar in many sports communities. The backlash began when NFL players led by Colin Kaepernick knelt during the National Anthem before football games in 2016. In the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin, a new wave of activism has emerged from a much larger number number of athletes, turning heads every time a game has been shown on television.
Players across all sports, from LeBron James to Colin Kaepernick to Naomi Osaka, have been vocal about their stance on this topic and how it affects people across the country.
College student and Northwood alumni Alexander Dennis supports the players' activism. “I believe athletes should be able to state their opinion on pressing matters in society, especially as people of color with a large platform for having their voices heard. We have to remember that athletes are people before anything else and have morals just like the rest of us.”
Many fans support the athletes' decision to speak out, but doing so has become a point of contention throughout the country. The NBA consists predominantly of players of color, making it critical for fans to acknowledge the opinions of those in the league. These athletes taking a stand have said that they do not plan to step down anytime soon from their position of raising awareness of and fight against systemic racism.
Like them, we must not stop until the racial and social injustices in this country are addressed and a solution is presented.