Athletes Spotlight that Black Lives Matter 

Junious Barnes, Writer

A former NBA player, Stephen Jackson, a friend of George Floyd spoke at a news conference in Minneapolis. Over the last several months, some of the loudest voices speaking up against racism and police brutality have come from the sports world.  Stephen Jackson grew up with George Floyd he said he called him his twin. 

Carmelo Anthony a former New York Knicks star has also spoken about the Black Lives Matter movement, “There’s no more sitting back and being afraid of tackling and addressing political issues anymore. Those days are long gone.” He went on to say, “We (professional athletes) can’t worry about what endorsements we going to lose or who’s going to look at us crazy. He said he’s ready for Black voices declaring, “We can demand change. We just must be willing to.”  

Serena Williams, who is one of the most important female athletes in our times, took a break from the middle of playing for a Wimbledon title to speak out. “In London, I have to wake up to this. He was black. Shot 4 times? When will something be done?” and she really meant it firmly. She then posted a description of what happened to Philando Castile. But beyond words, Serena also gave us powerful of an image on Wimbledon’s grass court, raising her fist like John Carlos and Tommie Smith from the Olympics. 

Bradley Beal, the Wizards’ Guard, stood his ground in a manner rarely seen when athletes get pushback for their words. After posting the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on that same night the Dallas police officer sniper shootings took place, he was flooded with criticism, accused of being, “insensitive.”  He also was hit with an AllLivesMatter as a response. Beal did not issue an apology. Instead,he wrote back saying that it isn’t an issue and that he’d be glad if people who disagreed unfollowed his social media.