As the country continues to grapple with decisions being made that show Black Lives Do Not Matter, the world of sports continues. When sports shut down due to Covid-19 there were always plans to bring it back once it was safe. As conversations to start-up began George Floyd was murdered by police and the country responded by protesting police brutality, racism and injustice. Fans and players began to wonder if it was appropriate to return when there are bigger issues in the country. After much discussion and a few ideas to raise awareness and support Black Lives Matter, sports returned.
Has it been a distraction from the important issues, no. The issues weren’t going to stop if they did not play; just like they haven’t stopped while they are playing. Have athletes been able to bring more awareness to the issues, yes. Is more awareness needed, yes and no. Like I have said before, if you claim to not know; you’ve never wanted to know. These issues have always been there, the difference is social media and quick access to what is happening in the world has put it right in your face and during Covid-19 it is hard to escape reality.
Athletes have been able to use their platform to provide manpower and financial support needed to bring about change. One of the best ways they are working for change is through the get out and vote campaign. Many are protesting and using their voice to call for change, but we also need the right decision-makers in place to be heard. So, the pro-teams using their facilities to combat voter suppression, players speaking out on the importance of voting, athletes lending their voice, likeness and financial backing to organizations fighting for change is why the decision to return to playing has been great.