National Football League
National Football League

Lifting Their Voices

Updated Jan. 18, 2021 11:26 p.m. EST

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has inspired generations to speak out for social justice, and the events of 2020 moved many – including athletes – to elevate their voices in support of the causes to which King dedicated his life.

One of those athletes was NASCAR's only Black full-time driver, Bubba Wallace, who utilized his platform to lead the charge for the banning of the Confederate flag in the sport last year, following the killing of George Floyd.

Wallace recently joined FOX Sports' Shannon Sharpe to discuss how he continues to break down barriers, the need for him to be NASCAR's voice of change and the importance of recognizing the work he and other athletes have done – while also recognizing the fight is far from over.

"'You're an entertainer. That's it," said Wallace, speaking rhetorically.


He followed with, "Nah, brother, we are people, and when this starts affecting us, that's when it rises us up to say something."

Bubba Wallace on why he needs to be NASCAR’s voice of change | FOX VOICES

NASCAR driver, Bubba Wallace, the sport’s lone full-time Black driver, joined Shannon Sharpe to discuss why it was so important for him to speak up and be the voice of change for auto racing now and in the future.

That conversation aired during Monday's "FOX Sports: Voices" special in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, featuring several athletes across the world of sports telling their stories, reflecting on Dr. King and lifting their voices in the name of justice.

Atlanta Dream star Renee Montgomery also spent 2020 fighting for change. She opted to forgo the WNBA season, instead directing her full attention to off-court initiatives, including social justice reform and voter rights.

She cited education as her primary driver and encouraged those around her to explore what inspires them to create change.

"You start where you're passionate about," she said.

WNBA’s Renee Montgomery details her blossoming passion for social justice reform | FOX VOICES

Atlanta Dream star Renee Montgomery sits down with FOX’s Pam Oliver to discuss her passion for fighting for social justice reform and how the past year has pushed her even further into the fight.

Late civil rights icon John Lewis' passion for social justice was clear – and it inspired the entire Atlanta Falcons organization.

The team reflected on Lewis' legacy and how the players have made it a goal to continue to promote those values every day.

Said Atlanta safety Ricardo Allen, "The one thing this team has done has respected each other, listened to each other and made sure that we can find common ground."

John Lewis’ lasting impact on Atlanta Falcons players, the next generation | FOX VOICES

Several players for the Atlanta Falcons sit down to reflect on the life and legacy of Atlanta native and civil rights icon, John Lewis. They discuss the impact he’s had on them, the Atlanta community, and the nation as a whole. Lewis passed away on July 17, 2020.

However small a step, each of these athletes is moving toward positive change. Today, we recognize how far we've come and those who have spurred us forward, as well as how much work we all still have to do.


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