“Black Lives Matter,” a message being reiterated by professional athletes across diverse sports in the United States as stadiums see some players showing visual displays of solidarity while others are refusing to play at all as a form of protest
Basketball games were postponed as the league grappled to handle the player boycotts inspired by the most recent known racially-charged incident of 29-year-old African American Jacob Blake who was shot seven times by police officers in Wisconsin. Milwaukee Bucks led the boycott, opting out of their playoff against the Orlando Magic. The game’s governing body, the NBA, later announced in a Tweet that the other matches in the series had been postponed.
Three major league baseball matches were called off. The Mets clash with Miami Marlins went ahead but one player staged his own protest. Dominic Smith, New York Mets player, tearfully expressed his frustrations, “People still don’t care. For this to continuously happen, it just shows just the hate in people’s heart. That just sucks. Being a black man in America, it’s not easy.”
In addition to baseball, even tennis saw half Haitian-American champion Naomi Osaka withdraw from a major tournament to support the movement as more and more athletes use their platforms to fight racial injustice in the country.
A series of events that are reminiscent of the now blackballed American football player, Colin Kaepernick, who took a stand against police brutality against black people in the nation by taking a knee in 2016 — in line with the Black Lives Matter movement.
A dynamic movement birthed in 2013 by three black women — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, to combat police brutality taking black lives.
The #BLM hashtag has since been revived tenfold on a global scale following the slayings by the police of George Floyd and Breona Taylor in the Spring of 2020 in the United States with protests occurring across the globe demanding an end to racial injustice suffered by black people in every sphere of life.
The recent athlete boycott in the United States in a show of solidarity with the movement is yet another step in the global marathon towards true racial equality.