Equality Within Sports

Owen Ciavarino-Richard, Sports Writer

 As you all know, 2020 has been very stressful, and eventful year. At the start of the year, we were alerted of the Covid-19 virus, and little did we know it would keep us quarantined for more than six months. Also forcing us to virtually begin the school year because of the dangers the virus offers. Next came the rioting, and looting after the death of George Floyd, which was followed by many other reported cases of police violence over the last few months. Now wildfires around the west coast are becoming very dangerous causing a severe decline in the air quality. However, with all of this and more occurring in this year alone in the last few months, we have received the return of sports. With all of the social injustices and police violence, the return of sports has promoted a fight for equality in our communities and nation.

Most sports teams, if not all, support each player’s decision to kneel during the national anthem for their specific beliefs, but certain sports took their own actions. Basketball was the first sport, in the United States, to start back up and they took a few actions to fight for equality. For example, they began the NBA restart by allowing players to put social justice messages on their jersey. These approved phrases included Black Lives Matter, Vote, Say Their Names, I Can’t Breathe, Justice, Peace, Equality, Freedom, Enough, Power to the People, Justice Now, Liberation, Hear Us, How Many More, Respect Us, and many others. They also went the extra step to put Black Lives Matter on their courts featured in every game played, and very easy to see. The WNBA also printed “Black Lives Matter” on their courts, but they dedicated their entire season, even though shortened, to the fight for social justice. One of the WNBA players, Maya Moore, actually helped free a man named Mr. Irons, get released from jail after 22 years of being wrongfully accused. The MLB also supports the fight for social justice, supporting each other, and getting support from coaches, fans, and relatives through the tough times that everyone is going through right now. The NFL has also done a lot for the fight for social justice. Many players have gone to Twitter to voice their opinion on the events occurring and have voiced very strong opinions. The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, has also stated that he should’ve supported Colin Kaepernick’s movement back in 2016, and regrets not taking action earlier. Goodell has also allowed players to put certain messages that support the fight for social justice on the back of their helmets. He also allowed teams to pick certain players, and let them spread their message for the fight for social justice on the stadium’s scoreboard, big enough for all to see.