Major Sports League’s Response to Social Injustice

By: Gus Wilson

Photo: Shirt LeBron James Wore To Arena Tonight Going Viral

The year 2020 is now the definition of chaotic. With the saddening deaths of many celebrities and a new global pandemic, many thought the year couldn’t get worse. However, there has been an increasing number of incidents of racial injustice. With sports leagues starting up or resuming their seasons, many of the major professional leagues are making one or many actions so they players can voice their opinions.

The Major League Baseball (MLB), which had its season delayed from COVID-19, found a few ways to make their voice be heard and play while supporting. All 30 of the teams are wearing different kinds of shirts with different statements. The Yankees and Giants wore shirts that read “Black Lives Matter”, while the Brewers had shirts saying “Justice, Equality, Now.” On July 28th, the MLB had “BLM” on all of the pitchers mounds of games being played on that date instead of the normal “MLB”. All 30 teams are still having meetings to determine what else they can do for their voices to be heard.

Now following up on basketball, the National Basketball Association (NBA) season has resumed and is already deep in the playoffs, and the league in its entirety has been arguably the loudest regarding the social injustice in our country. Although the NBA is stuck in the bubble in Orlando, they are making a large impact on the world. For the restart, the league allowed players to have both their last name on their jersey, as well as an approved statement. Some of these include “Black Lives Matter”, “Vote”, “Say Her Name”, and many more. Similar to the MLB, they warm up in different shirts with different messages. During the National Anthem, players can be seen kneeling, locking arms, or staying in the locker room. Most recently, the Milwaukee Bucks did not show up for their playoff game due to the news about the Jacob Blake shooting, leading to all of the games on that day, and the next 2 days, being postponed. 

Now kicking off the first week of the National Football League (NFL),  many players are already letting their voices be heard. Before some of the games, some of the teams, including the Baltimore Ravens, stood on the endzone locking arms with one another. Similar to the NBA, the national anthem consisted of players kneeling and some teams not coming out of the locker room, such as the Texans and Jaguars. The players are also allowed to have approved names and statements on the back of their helmets. It is expected that this will continue for the remainder of the season.

The major sporting leagues in the United States are doing an outstanding job of letting their players’ voices be heard and playing for the justice of those who have deceased.

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