It took getting one view on a YouTube video for me to realize that there’s only one acceptable topic to post about right now. I published that video (Episode 2 of my Patriots Rebuild) yesterday, but it became obvious to me that I had to prioritize our country over a Madden video. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis, was wrongfully and inhumanely killed at the hands of a police officer on May 25th. As a result, the entire country has been engulfed in chaos for the past week. Protests and riots continue to occur in every major city you can think of. Whether the looting is justified or not is debatable, but what isn’t debatable is that George Floyd should be with us today.
Here’s something else that isn’t debatable: America needs a systematic change. So, I’m not here to give you any more opinions on our current state. I’m here to shed light on how athletes and teams have been using their platforms to effect change in our nation. Here are the ten most powerful statements (*not in any specific order*) I’ve read/watched from sports personalities and teams.
- Stephen Jackson
I said these were in no specific order, but I feel obligated to put this one first. Stephen Jackson Sr. was an NBA player who happened to be George Floyd’s friend. Jackson’s words and actions on this subject have been quite powerful, and this Instagram post is the most impactful.
2. Jadon Sancho
After scoring a goal against Paderborn, Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, one of soccer’s rising stars, revealed this shirt. Normally, players face punishments as a result of actions like this, but according to BBC Sports, the German Football Association gave no such punishment to Sancho and his teammates.
3. Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton is a Formula One racer who has been quite outspoken about today’s issues, while the rest of the racing community hasn’t been so proactive. This is one of multiple Instagram posts Hamilton has shared over the past few days.
4. Bradley Beal
Brad Beal is another athlete who has been very active on social media. Here, he reminds everyone that African-American athletes still face racial challenges, no matter how much of a platform they have.
5. Karl-Anthony Towns
This is a picture of KAT (towards the back to the right) at a George Floyd rally in Minneapolis. Towns lost his mother to COVID-19 in April, so it must have taken him a lot of strength to make an appearance at the protest. Also, notice that Stephen Jackson Sr. is pictured in the second row of people to the left. Just another testament to the work he’s done.
6. Brianna Turner
This tweet from WNBA player Brianna Turner provides an interesting perspective on this topic. It’s a thread, so you may want to click on it. Her point of “…being against police brutality does not make you anti-police.” is quite powerful.
7. Coco Gauff
Gauff is a 16 year-old tennis phenom. She made a Tik Tok (popular app where people create videos with particular sounds) honoring those that have died, including George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. I recommend giving it a watch.
Nike recently released a great video about COVID-19. Even more recently, they published this. It’s safe to say Nike has done well in using their platform to address our world’s issues.
9. Washington Wizards
This is the best statement I’ve seen from a professional sports team so far. I know there are many more, but the simplicity of Washington’s post struck me.
10. J.J. Watt
Finally, we have J.J. Watt. He condemned the treatment of George Floyd in this video, as posted by Ari Alexander.
There are so many more posts, statements, and pictures around the Internet, so if I missed one you think should be on here, feel free to send it to me on Instagram (@americansportsblog) or Twitter (@AmericanSportsN). I still want to release regular sports content like I have been, but maybe not for a while due to our current state. Hopefully you found some inspiration through this piece, as that was my goal. Stay safe everyone.