First, Drew Brees provided evidence of why the United States has a major racism problem. The New Orleans Saints star quarterback, who holds a whole bunch of records in the Football League NFL, said in an interview: "I will never match anyone who does not respect the flag of the United States or our country. " He was referring to players who could demonstrate against police violence and racism in the coming season, for example by kneeling during the anthem.
His statement caused violent contradiction, not only from fans and other athletes, but also from his teammates. Saints colleague Malcolm Jenkins, for example, said, "I counted you among my friends, I looked up at you. You were someone I had a lot of respect for. But sometimes, you should just shut up."
Racism is a big issue in the American sports world. The current protests after George Floyd's death therefore concern many athletes. They use their popularity and platform to draw attention to the injustices and racism in their country. They argue too. But unlike a while ago, something seems to be moving now.
The protest quickly subsided six years ago
Many protests take place on social networks. "Why doesn't America love us too ???" wrote basketball superstar LeBron James on Twitter. On Instagram, he posted a picture of cop Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd and killing him. Next to it was a picture of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who became famous a few years ago for being the first to lean on his knee and protest peacefully against police violence and racism. It said: "That's why ...".
Before that, James had repeatedly campaigned against racism. While warming up before a 2014 game, he and his team-mate Kyrie Irving wore a t-shirt that said "I can't breath". That year Eric Garner was strangled by a New York police officer. Garner, arrested for selling individual cigarettes, died in the hospital an hour later. Since then, the phrase "I can't breath" has been used by the civil rights movement.
Even then, professional athletes had protested against police violence and racism. However, the contradiction soon subsided. That is different today: significantly more active and former athletes express themselves. And they're doing it louder than ever.
In an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times , Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote: "Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible - even if you choke on it - until you let the sun in." Jabbar still holds the record for most points in the NBA, closing his text with the words: "What I don't want to see is a quick judgment, but quick justice."
Probably the best basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan has announced that he will donate $ 100 million to clubs that work against racism and improve access to education in the United States. Some active NBA stars, such as Malcolm Brogdon, Jaylen Brown, Enes Kanter and Lonzo Ball, even took part in the demonstrations that are currently moving across the country. The two players of the Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson also participated. Your trainer Steve Kerr has been very clear on racism for years. "This is murder. Disgusting," he tweeted. "Seriously, what the hell is wrong with us ???"
The German NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki wrote in a statement: "I am deeply shaken and sad that we have to experience something like this again and again. I fear for the future of my children." Nowitzki and former teammates of the Dallas Mavericks later helped clean up devastated shops and streets in Dallas.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) supports the athletes, shared statements and videos of the players on social networks. The teams also actively spread the opinion of their players. Maybe a calculation. Finally, the league wants to resume play at the end of July. However, the NBA has always been considered the most progressive sports league in the country. The vast majority of players in basketball are Afro-American. The protest will certainly accompany the start of the league.