Leagues Weigh in on Social Justice
With professional sports starting back up soon, there has been an emphasis among players throughout the NBA, NFL, and MLB to use their platforms to highlight social injustice and bring awareness to issues they believe in.
On Tuesday, the NBA unveiled the special Black Lives Matter court that games will be played on in Orlando.
FOX Sports NBA analyst Chris Broussard believes this is a great gesture from the league, but it might not even be the NBA's most impactful statement to date:
“I think it’s great that the NBA has ‘Black Lives Matter’ displayed on its courts in Orlando. While that symbolic gesture will draw more attention to the cause of social justice, it may be even more impactful that the NBA is reportedly working on partnerships with 10 local, minority-owned restaurants to deliver and cater food inside ‘the bubble.’
I also believe the NBA can show that ‘Black Lives Matter’ by pushing for public legislation and corporate initiatives that promote providing jobs, businesses, and capital in the black community. Symbolism, while fine, is not enough.”
The NFL is also following in the NBA's footsteps in raising awareness for social injustice by announcing that players will be allowed to wear decals on the back of their helmets this season.
The decals will bear the names of victims of systemic racism and police violence.
The NFL has previously allowed messaging supporting its October NFL Crucial Catch program in conjunction with the fight against breast cancer, and in its November salutes to the military.
However, this will be the first time the league allows players to make isolated statements for the entirety of the NFL Season.
This news also comes after some of the NFL's brightest stars such as Michael Thomas, Patrick Mahomes, Deandre Hopkins, and Odell Beckham Jr. spoke out against racial injustice in a video in June after the death of George Floyd.
In MLB, statements are also being made by individual franchises.
Last night before facing off against the Oakland Athletics in an exhibition, the San Francisco Giants kneeled as a team during the national anthem in a display against police violence and racial injustice.
With sports providing a large platform for players and their respective franchises, more eyes will be on these leagues than ever to see how they address the issues that are currently effecting the country.