Celebrity·Updated 7 minutes ago. Posted 1 hour ago
Lebron James, Naomi Osaka, and countless other athletes have made public statements about their support for Black Lives Matter.
As professional sports returned to the United States amid nationwide protests, athletes have used their public platforms to show solidarity.
Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images
At the end of August, the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game 5 of their playoff series following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Other NBA players quickly joined the boycott, showing their support on social media.
Lebron James was among those outspoken about the shooting.
Teams from other leagues decided not to play as well, including in the MLB.
The Milwaukee Brewers joined the Bucks. All-star Christian Yelich was one of the team members to make a statement about the boycott.
“There comes a time where you have to live it, you have to step up. You can’t just wear these shirts and think that’s all well and good and then when it comes time to act on it, or make stand or make a statement… you can’t just not do it.” – @ChristianYelich
01:45 AM – 27 Aug 2020
Even before the NBA boycott, baseball players had protested racial injustice. On Opening Day, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts kneeled during the national anthem.
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Betts was the first member of the Dodgers to decide not to play during the boycott, inspiring the rest of his teammates to join.
The NBA players reached an agreement to resume the playoffs, with the league agreeing to commit to social justice action and voting initiatives.
Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images
Arenas will be turned into polling centers during the election.
The NBA isn’t the only basketball league protesting racial injustice. In the WNBA, members of the Atlanta Dream wore t-shirts supporting the political opponent of their co-owner, Senator Kelly Loeffler. Loeffler had criticized Black Lives Matter.
We are @wnba players, but like the late, great John Lewis said, we are also ordinary people with extraordinary vision. @ReverendWarnock has spent his life fighting for the people and we need him in Washington. Join the movement for a better Georgia at https://t.co/hC8iF9urak
08:13 PM – 04 Aug 2020
The WNBA also sat out their games in the wake of the Blake shooting and demonstrated at half court by taking a knee.
Wearing t-shirts spelling out Jacob Blake’s name with bullet holes in the back, players on the Washington Mystics expressed how the need for racial justice transcended sports.
“We’re not just basketball players. We’re so much more than that.”
Ariel Atkins with a powerful statement on the unified decision to not play tonight.
11:26 PM – 26 Aug 2020
College athletes also protested. Dressed in black, the Oklahoma Sooners football team held a 57-second moment of silence, memorializing the 57 years since the March on Washington.
The head coach posted an image on Instagram.
Since the boycott, athletes have continued to make public statements. During the US Open, Naomi Osaka wore masks with the names of Black people killed by police and racial violence.
With the NFL returning in September, the league announced it would allow players to wear decals representing calls for racial justice.
During the opening game of the season between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texas, Chiefs fans booed as players united on the field against racism.
Kansas City Chiefs fans appeared to boo the moment of unity with the Texans prior to the game starting.
People HATE politics ruining sports.
12:41 AM – 11 Sep 2020
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who led the kneeling during the national anthem movement, took to Twitter to decry the league’s actions.
While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) for fighting for the Black community. Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league. https://t.co/KQXTaOCcnU
08:08 PM – 13 Sep 2020
In 2019, Kaepernick settled a collusion grievance against the NFL, alleging that the league was excluding him because of his activism.
And finally, Kaepernick’s actions continue to inspire players across the league, with numerous players kneeling before their games to protest racism.
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