It is becoming more common for athletes, especially in the NFL to speak out about police brutality and social inequalities. Players of the National Football League (NFL) have utilized their media influence to stand against social injustice. NFL players are becoming advocates, bringing awareness to social inequality, specifically focusing on social oppression.
Let’s begin with Colin Kaepernick. As many of us may know, Kaepernick is known for kneeling during the National Anthem. Kaepernick felt it was time to take a stance on racial inequality and act on it, versus displaying anger via social media. His peaceful protest has become controversial and many disagree with his actions and misconstrue his message. Regardless if you agree with his message; his protest has been successful. As the season progressed, Kaepernick gained support from teammates, other players in the league as well as high school and college players, while bringing awareness to this issue. Kaepernick is not the only player in the league who felt it was time to stand up against racial inequality and police brutality.
The North Carolina Panthers used Twitter to display their political views after the tragic incident in Charlotte, North Carolina. Another African American was killed by a police officer and riots began in Charlotte, shortly after this event. Many players tweeted that social injustice needs to come to an end. Newton decided to speak about the overall issue. Newton said, “I’m an African American. I’m not happy with what or how justice has been dealt with over the years — the state of oppression in our community. But we also as black people have to do right by ourselves, we can’t be hypocrites.” Newton felt that people needed to be more accountable for their actions. In other words, the finger pointing needs to stop, self- accountability falls on both sides of the spectrum. Players of the NFL want to bring awareness to this issue and implement change.
Now players are making sure they are being heard by Congress. Tuesday, five NFL players went to Capitol Hill to speak out about controversial societal issues such as social injustice and oppression. The five players include: Anquan Boldin, Malcolm Jenkins, Glover Quinn, Josh McCown, and Andrew Hawkins. The players want to initiate a change with one of their focuses being to close the gap between minority communities and law enforcement. Regardless of race, law enforcement should offer security and protection, not fear. Speaking to Congress was pivotal, but this was just the first step, change cannot be implemented over night. Players and Congress realize that a difference needs to be made and action needs to be taken to save lives; both, police and minorities, need to exert an effort in resolving this issue.
Courtesy of Espn.com and bigstory.ap.org