Sports are Back and They Stand With Black Lives Matter. Cry about it.
Sports are back! The NBA, MLB, WNBA all returned to their respective “arenas” after a long layoff due to the COVID 19 pandemic. To the chagrin of the “shut up and dribble” crowd, the athletes of these sports stand with black lives matter.
Now before you get all “BLM is a Marxist organization!” on me, grow up. You sound a lot like Joe McCarthy. And as they say, about the sports protests – let’s keep the politics out of this. As I’ve stated before, this is not a political issue.
The Latest Protests
Protests against systemic racism have been tapering off somewhat in recent weeks as the pandemic came out dropping 3’s in the second quarter. Despite this, athletes of these sports are here to remind us that this topic is not a one news cycle event.
This makes a lot of fans uncomfortable. Many have taken to Twitter to display their dismay. Saying the sports and black lives matter alliance is the radical left taking over and really making them feel some way. And sadly (to no one at all) some have vowed not to watch these leagues again.
We at Loud News Net know better than this kind of deflection. Here’s what warmed our hearts this week from the hybrid world of sports, black lives matter and systemic racism discussions.
LeBron James Speaks
LeBron James is one of the most well known athletes in this country. When he speaks people listen.
Following the Laker’s first scrimmage in the Orlando NBA bubble, LeBron James addressed a number of important issues including Breonna Taylor, being Black in America, and the concept of “the movement”.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” James said. “You guys don’t understand unless you’re a person of color. I understand you might feel for us, but you can never really, truly understand what it is to be Black in America.”
MLB Takes a Knee
Major League Baseball has never been the most progressive sports league. From segregation, the treatment of Jackie Robinson, Ty Cobb, Marge Schott the list of ignorance and racism goes on and on.
However, in 2020 anything can change. The hallowed New York Yankees and Washington Nationals opened the season with an act of solidarity between sports and black lives matter. And my goodness, even some of the “cut your facial hair, Mattingly” Yankees are still kneeling.
Boston Red Sox Black Lives Matter Billboard
Full disclosure: I grew up a Boston Red Sox fan. However, the shrouded racist legacy of this organization is without excuse.
The Boston Red Sox were the last team to sign a Black player to their roster in 1959. A shocking 12 years after Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Their owner at the time, Tom Yawkey was no stranger to racial slurs and supporting segregationist politicians in the south.
Boston itself is a city with, at best, a spotty history of racial empathy, equality and compassion. But that’s a story for another day.
The current owners of the Red Sox have taken steps to gain absolution for the sins of the past. Last year they renamed the street where the famed Fenway Park is located to 4 Jersey Street (f.k.a. 1 Yawkey Way for decades). The large banner they planted along the Massachusetts Turnpike is another step in the right direction. Those who commute to Boston knows this stretch of bumper-to-bumper highway well.
WNBA Players Walk Off During the Anthem
WNBA players are making a statement as well. Players from the New York Liberty and Seattle Storm walked back to the locker room during the national anthem was played. They also held a moment of silence for Breonna Taylor.
Sports and Black Lives Matter Conclusion
Sports and protests for human rights is nothing new. Muhammad Ali. Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Colin Kaepernick.
With so much attention on professional sports today, especially during the pandemic, acts of peaceful protests can make a difference. Of course, all these protests are surreal because there are no fans in the stands due to the pandemic. With the NFL soon to return we can expect to see more athletes in these sports support black lives matter and the dismantling of systemic racism.
Let’s hope they continue as passionately, when and if fans return into the stadiums and arenas.