Athletes should stand up


Alexis Chapman, Senior

People always refer to sports as “more than just a game” when expressing their love for them. So why do we try to strip that away from professional athletes that want to stand up for something they believe in?

  Or does that phrase only apply when it’s something that you agree with? Yes, they are paid to play their sport, but they are more than just entertainers. They are human beings with a voice, and should be allowed to express their beliefs, just like everyone else. Having fans shouldn’t be an excuse for them to be silenced. A true fan would support them for their decisions, and not only benefit off that athlete when they play.

  These athletes perform on huge platforms, and doing things like boycotting and protesting helps them show the world that these issues are serious and need to stop, even if it means making sacrifices. Yes, it may be upsetting for sports lovers to have their favorite events postponed or have social issues brought into games, but at the end of the day, it raises awareness to those issues.

  While there is the argument of there being other options than to boycott games, it should be noted that for years people have been fighting for social change, and nothing seems to fully work. Players have attended protests, voiced their opinions on social media, donated money, gone on marches, etc., yet the issues being fought against still prevail.  I’m not saying that the other forms can’t be effective, but recent forms of protest that players have done, such as NBA players not playing, have helped set a strong tone nationwide that they demand change.

Therefore, their protests surrounding their games help portray the message that these are issues that need to be addressed, and not just swept under the rug like they have been in the past.

  But it’s their job that they are just up and walking away from, right? They are supposed to be entertainers, right? Correct. This is their job and main source of income. But this isn’t politics they are fighting for. It’s human rights. I don’t know about you, but to me, human rights are bigger than any sport. Afterall, there are literally people dying.  So, if anyone, not just athletes, feels that there are injustices against their brothers and sisters, they have every right to seek justice; getting a contract to the big leagues doesn’t take that away.

  It is true that sports can bring people together, but we can’t expect players to treat their games like a fantasyland so that everyone can pretend that there are no problems in the real world. Quite frankly, I personally think the solution is clear, though. If athletes using their platforms to raise awareness for the injustices that exist in the United States bothers you so much, don’t watch their games.  It’s that simple.