As protests in North America and around the world continue into a third week, athletes continue to highlight the need for change within the sports world while also continuing to support, donate and protest in the name of social justice.
The GIST: As protests in North America and around the world continue into a third week, athletes continue to highlight the need for change within the sports world while also continuing to support, donate and protest in the name of social justice.
How are they supporting?: Many of this weekend’s protests across the US were attended by sports figures, including 16-year-old tennis star Coco Gauff, Atlanta Dream Elizabeth Williams, Houston Rocket Russell Westbrook and San Antonio Spur DeMar DeRozan, and New York Jet Jamal Adams.
- Toronto Raptor Kyle Lowry joined members of the Philadelphia 76ers in his hometown’s protest, and later shared via Instagram, “Doesn’t matter the team or sport WE fighting together!!!”
- After Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio claimed (and later retracted) that there is no racism in the NFL (we’re still rolling our eyes over that one), he joined over 70 members of his team to lead the city’s march on Saturday.
Awesome. Tell me more: Athletes and sports companies continue to put their money where the movement is. And nobody did it better than NBA legend Michael Jordan and his Jordan Brand, who pledged a whopping $100 million (!!!) over the next decade to organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education. Jordan also donated his earnings from ESPN’s docuseries The Last Dance to charitable causes. He really is the GOAT.
- Nike pledged $40 million over four years to support America’s Black community, while Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan launched a GoFundMe called “Advancing The Lives (ATL) of the Black Community” and kickstarted it with $500,000. Make it rain.
I heard something about an NFL apology?: Following a powerful video created by several Black NFLers, the NFL responded with a video of their own that featured commissioner Roger Goodell admitting that the league was wrong to have previously ignored its players (i.e., Colin Kaepernick and the #TakeAKnee movement) and encouraging protests to resume. Goodell also said he would take part in necessary change and would be reaching out to players who have spoken out.
- Drew Brees also apologized for his “disrespecting the flag” comments last week, and then followed up with a statement directed at President Trump. Brees’ wife, Brittany, apologized too, and the couple has acknowledged their need to better educate themselves.
- TBH, we, like a lot of fans, are not totally sure how we feel about these apologies. The fact that they happened shows growth and the commendable desire to do and be better. But saying sorry is one thing; proving it is another. Conscious actions lead to progress — so to Drew Brees and the NFL: it’s time to put in the work.