How BLM is Affecting Sports

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Turner Keck, Staff Writer

The Black Lives Matter movement has dominated headlines and altered America since the killing of George Floyd. There have been riots and civil unrest. Injustices and discrimination have changed how all people view our country. People are losing faith in our government, our president, and even law enforcement . Athletes have been at the forefront of the movement. 

The Black Lives Matter movement has one  simple goal. The movement’s goal is to end racial inequality and discrimination in America. Since 2016, athletes have been taking a major stand associated with this movement after former San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick kneeled for the national anthem. Kaepernick received heavy criticism from many people for not standing. The critics claimed that since he was kneeling for the anthem and the flag, he was disrespecting the people who gave their lives for the country. Kaepernick and other players said that they weren’t kneeling to disrespect the people who gave their lives. The action of kneeling was used because the players could no longer stand for a country that doesn’t value the lives of African Americans. Athletes from all walks of life have protested the racial injustices in America. Players have been taking a stand on social media and even on the field. 

The latest issue highlighting the need for racial equality  was the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The country exploded again, riots broke out, and athletes once again took a stand. The NHL, NBA, MLS, and MLB have all had players unite, and some leagues have even postponed games. Some people argued that the postponing of games doesn’t accomplish anything. While it may not have the biggest direct effect, the players are sending a message that they will not stand for the injustices anymore.

Athletes have long been praised for being involved in their communities and being activists for change. Now, civil activism is seen as a responsibility for athletes. This is a good chance for the sports world to take a bigger stand; no longer are athletes heralded as heroes for helping their community as many people do. Athletes now have a big responsibility added to their fame and wealth. Some negative factors have been added by the movement. Some players, such as Jonathan Isaac, did not take a stand as the fans wanted. Isaac chose not to kneel for the national anthem because of his personal religious beliefs, but that reason wasn’t enough to avoid criticism. When players don’t take a stand with the movement they are subject to criticism and public shaming.  

What has been shown, is that the country, even the sports world, will not return to normal until the discrimination ends. The players have made up their minds and expressed their feelings. The country can’t keep dancing around the subject, even if it’s a sore one. Many people think this country needs to change and the athletes are trying to make sure that happens. Stopping sports won’t be a solution to the problem, but if the players keep pushing hard enough the country will have no choice but to finally take a stance.