Athletes Fight For Equality After Recent Events


Summer Ingalls

NBA and WNBA players wore special shirts in honor of the lives lost to police brutality.

Pavle Ristic, Sports Editor

On August 23, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, four months after George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota; these two events have been a driving force in the recent protests for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement nationwide.

   At the forefront of this racial justice movement have been the major American sports Leagues, especially the NBA and MLB. On August 26, NBA teams collectively agreed to sit out of their games, with the MLB following suit the next day. According to CNBC, NBA teams returned to the court only after the NBA pledged 300 million dollars to fight for racial equality as well as arranging for all 30 stadiums used by the teams to become polling locations. In addition, an activism task force for racial equality was founded in order to put the money to good use and arrange for future NBA involvement in social matters (

  The choice to sit out of games drummed up conversation which dates back to former NFL Player Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem in late 2016. Due to a wide conservative fan base, the NFL took a tough stance on distancing itself from Kaepernick’s actions. The NBA, on the other hand, showed full support of the players’ actions and the BLM movement. According to Sports Illustrated, while attempting to arrange the return of the NBA during COVID-19, players refused to agree to return without proper means to continue spreading their message and voicing their support for BLM. Two ways the players decided to go about this was to be able to choose the message written on the back of their jerseys as well as having a large BLM logo printed onto the court (

  UC High Senior Hansen Lee, who is an African-American and a basketball player, shared his thoughts on the actions taken by the NBA and its players: “I’m happy to see the players standing up for what they believe in and the amount of support they are receiving. I wish that there could have been change like this starting earlier, but it is happening now, and it must continue. The platform they have would be a waste if they weren’t doing anything. Working towards equality should stay on the forefront of everyone’s mind as it is now.” 

   All sports Leagues that have allowed their players to be vocal with their support for racial equality have seen backlash for their actions. The NFL, especially, has seen a sharp decline in ratings so far in the early stages of the season. The season opener saw as high as a 16.1 percent drop in ratings from key demographics, according to the Washington Post. President Donald Trump also spoke out against the NBA and their actions in support of BLM in a tweet which said that people should turn the game off the moment they saw players kneeling during the National Anthem (