A lot of changes are happening right now in the world today—we have a new president, Donald Trump, natural disasters happening in Texas, Florida and California. Along with these changes, America has become even more divided than before—white versus black, Democrat versus Republican.
Many people are frustrated in America right now. This frustration has even been shown in the sports world. Athletes like Marshawn Lynch, LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick especially have expressed their opinions about the racial equality controversy that is happening in America. LeBron James criticized President Donald Trump after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Hate has always existed in America. Yes, we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again! Statues has nothing to do with us now!” LeBron Tweeted this on Twitter on August 15.
There have been many protests in sports especially in the National Football League about how African Americans are being treated unfairly by law enforcement. A lot of criticism has been made about how more white athletes should take a stand and support their minority teammates.
“When somebody from the other side understands and they step up and they speak about it, it would change the whole conversation because you bring somebody who doesn’t really have to be part of the conversation to make themselves vulnerable in front of it,” Michael Bennet, defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, said, according to ESPN.com.
Max Kellerman, cohost of ESPN show First Take, even called out white athletes, “So you mean to tell me none of the white players in the NFL are maybe ambivalent at least about the protests, but then are thinking to themselves, ‘If I’m ambivalent, if I’m not really sure which way I stand, I need to show some solidarity right now?’ None of them? Not one? It’s a disgrace. It’s embarrassing. And it would be so strong if at least one, especially if he’s a star, stood up and did it.”
With the 2017 NFL season starting, some white players have come forward to support their teammates. Chris Long, defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles, put his arm around his teammate Malcom Jenkins during the national anthem in a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. According to USAToday.com Long, a native of Charlottesville, Virginia, said to Jenkins, “I’m here to support you, and you being a black male in America, I can never imagine what that feels like in the face of this stuff, but I’m here as your ally. I’m here to support you.”
Other white players, like the Seahawks’ tight end Justin Britt and the Raiders’ Quarterback Derek Carr, stood while showing support for black teammates by placing their arms around them.
Seth DeValve, a tight end for the Cleveland Browns, even took a knee with his teammates during the national anthem. I think these actions shown by the players are a step in the right direction.
I think white American players should try to continue to stand by their teammates and show understanding. I think this protest can have a positive effect. This might help sports fans or people in general recognize and understand that everyone is equal.