News/Op-Ed: Across All Major Sports Leagues In The United States, Athletes Create A Culture For Change
by Aeden Alexander
For the past year, the United States has been in the midst of an ongoing battle with racism, discrimination and bigotry. In the past few years, there has been no shortage of celebrities and athletes coming out, voicing their opinions and using their platforms as a bully pulpit to aide in ending racism and making the United States of America a better place.
For the past year, the United States has been in an ongoing battle of ending racism, with many different celebrities and athletes attempting to help this cause and really make America a better place.
As the Derek Chauvin trial has come to a close and resulted in what was perceived as justice for George Floyd, many big athletes came out and spoke on what the guilty verdicts really meant for their communities and the United States as a whole.
While many celebrated the decision, many also came out and took the chance to talk about how this is just the beginning in something much greater. However, some also said that the verdict should not even be celebrated, because it should be expected.
But, for America, this is the perfect place to be, as this gives the chance for kids who look up to sports stars, like Lebron James and Serena Williams, to feel as if they are heard and their concerns are recognized. Both James and Williams have trail blazed a path for the next generation to follow so they don’t have to fight and deal with racism at an older age.
Moreover, James and Williams, likely inspired by the activism of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have also paved the way for other athletes, regardless of their sport, league or level of play, to use their platforms for the greater good of society.
Yet, not just the athletes take part in voicing their opinions. Other people, like the owners of sports teams and league commissioners, have come out and made sure that they promote social justice in many shapes and forms.
In the past and the present, the owners, commissioners and players associations across all the major sports leagues agreed to make warmup shirts featuring social justice statements on them, creating flexibility in game schedules in case of cancellations due to social justice issues and allowing room for political dialogue without any pushback from the leagues themselves.
The athletes in our current world have an increased role in society, as they provide both sports entertainment as well as acting as a voice for activism in the United States. Of course, there are many dissenting points of view on this issue, as some believe that athletes should not have this much say in socio-political debates and shouldn’t use their platforms for societal change.
At the end of the day, athletes are concerned citizens too, and their activism shall continue as long as they are given approval by their respective leagues, coaches and team owners.