Most years MLK day comes and goes without much fanfare. Games are played clips from Dr King’s speeches are shown during the games.
This year is different from most other years due to the awareness from NBA players and pro athletes in generals willingness to coming out in support of social injustices. While other pro leagues have asked their players to tone down their silent protest not The NBA. The league which is made up from a majority of African American players as well as players from around the world continue to support causes they find in need whether it be locally or from a national level.
Former players also continue to support their communities long after their careers are over and speak out without fear of tarnish their legacies. All time greats such as Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabar all use the platform they’ve been given to support various causes. These legends continue to have meaningful positive impact long after their days on the hardwood are over.
Although there are some who would like to keep sports and politics separate in America that’s no longer possible. Sports is where we come together for a few hours and allow ourselves a break from our troubles. We really couldn’t separate sports and politics if we tried.
No matter how we look or where we live what we have or don’t have,
all intersect when we take the time to support our hometown teams or favorite players.
If these players align themselves with causes we support even better. With a global league choosing to be at the front in encouraging it’s members to be active in our communities shows that our society is still striving to find equality. If we ask a player or a fan where one stands on certain points brings a comfort that we are all at least in this together. Rich or poor black or white brown or whichever background you come from The NBA promoting equality and making strides in an effort to do so is more than most of the other professional sports leagues in America have done.
Those efforts are a true celebration of Dr King stood for and which we can all take pride from knowing that. I’ll leave you with this quote from
Dr Martin Luther King
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”