Everything from playing sports to consuming media about athletes, teams, coaches, and so on, contribute to the conversation about sports. With the amount of attention we dedicate to sports, it’s no wonder topics of social change have also entered the discussion. We’re entering a new season of football, which means we’re entering a new season of social and justice and sports, and people complaining about social justice and sports! If you thought Twitter was lit because of that new Taylor song, you obviously have forgotten about how lit it was when Kaepernick didn’t stand for the national anthem.
To the folks who think athletes (or any type of entertainer) should not use their profession as a platform to voice their concerns, sit down. If you’re allowed to wear your MAGA hat everywhere, athletes are allowed to peacefully protest police violence by not standing for the national anthem. Welcome to America, son. That First Amendment doesn’t just apply to you and your friends, it applies to everyone, even *gasp* women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. If you don’t like that, what’s it that you say to Snowflakes? Leave…?
Fun fact: athletes have more identities than that of athlete. Incredibly, some of those identities may be threatened by the current state of affairs in this country. Kindly accept the fact that athletes have opinions and are allowed to share them. I’m sure you have opinions about Kaepernick and all the other football players who took a knee during the national anthem. Maybe you should investigate further their motivations behind their actions. If you don’t understand, at the very least, you should be happy they’re setting the example of peaceful protests. One day you may understand the hegemonic hierarchy that is our society.
Honestly, I hope professional athletes continue to utilize their fame as a platform to voice their concerns about the problems in our society. They addresses intersectional issues within our society through the lens of sports, which then many people consume. Even if they don’t agree with what the athlete or team is doing, they’re now exposed to the problem more than they were. They may even go so far as to read about said social problems and the impact upon marginalized groups. Or they may bitch about how un-American it is to kneel during the national anthem and completely gloss over slight nationalism of playing the national anthem so much. Either way, they’re at least trying to process what is going on, which is a result of sports.
The world of sports has collided with actual society beyond the need for competition and making money. Those things are still very much a large part of the sports industry, but societal issues are also a topic for discussion within this industry. People can look the other way and act like sexism, racism, and homophobia don’t exist within sports. Those people would be wrong, and the fact would still remain that we have a lot to accomplish in fighting bigotry and hatred. Athletes are within their rights to contribute to this fight by leading peaceful protests on and off the field. If you have a problem with that, please reference THE U.S. CONSTITUTION!