Some things are bigger than sports
On Aug. 23, a Black man named Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake was shot seven times, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
After this event, much of the sports world and its high-profile athletes used their platforms to speak out against systemic racism.
On Aug. 26, in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Milwaukee Bucks were scheduled to play Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Orlando Magic at 4 p.m. In response to Blake being shot several times, the Bucks didn’t emerge from their locker room, calling for justice for Blake. It was announced by 5 p.m. that all NBA playoff games were postponed indefinitely.
The Bucks then released an official statement explaining their decision not to play, outlining their inability to focus on basketball when change is needed. The strike sparked a chain reaction in sports, as people from all disciplines showed their support. Kenny Smith, former NBA player and co-host of Inside the NBA on TNT walked off the set of the show on-air, in solidarity with player protests.
In keeping with this idea, on Aug. 26, three Major League Baseball (MLB) games were cancelled in order to draw attention to systemic racism, while seven more were cancelled the following day. In the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), fourth-seeded Naomi Osaka won her quarterfinal matchup at the Western and Southern Open, but withdrew shortly after to fight for racial justice. The tournament responded to her courageous act by postponing all of Thursday’s scheduled matches. On Aug. 27 and 28, all NHL games were also postponed, and multiple football teams cancelled their practices as well.
We all can do our part to help make this world a better place, especially in 2020, where we have the tools and the technology to share our message and learn from each other. For example, a group of former and current NHL players started the Hockey Diversity Alliance in order to inspire the new generation of players and fans. By providing resources to the young generation, the Hockey Diversity Alliance is showing it wants to do more than just support a cause. Their ultimate goal is to eliminate racism and intolerance in the game.
The Concordian wants to support and follow the movement taken in the sports world. That’s why this article is the only one that will be published in the sports section for our first issue of the semester. Some things are bigger than sports, and we should never ignore them.
We stand for racial justice and equality. Black Lives Matter.
Graphic by Chloë Lalonde