|LeBron James, marking the death of Eric Garner, in 2014. Pic Credit: The New Yorker|
Interesting read from The New Yorker on the authority and power invested in professional athletes, in relation to influencing the progress of social justice.
The focus here is on American sports, but the theme can be easily extended to other sports, worldwide.
It's perhaps no surprise perhaps that the rise of pro sports as a massive industry in its own right, with the parallel gains for individuals in money and celebrity terms, that more athletes don't speak out about important issues. There's clearly a lot at stake, and a lot to lose for those who step off the tightly managed corporate line running through most large sports organisations and clubs.
But, the fact that a large percentage of today's professional athletes come from simple backgrounds, if not from situations of outright poverty and/or abuse, begs the question of why don't more speak up about the circumstances that they escaped from and in which some of their peers in youth remain ensconced?
The Kick Project takes the view that top sports men and women have the power to generate positive change. We support those who make the effort.
"On Monday evening, just hours after Congress had convened hearings investigating whether Russia had interfered with last November’s election, President Donald Trump was back in his comfort zone: on the road, flexing his unpredictable, kitchen-sink approach to working a crowd, rallying his supporters against a bizarre albeit easy target. In this case: Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. Last season, Kaepernick transcended his station as a backup on a bad team when he began kneeling during the national anthem—his way of drawing attention to issues of police brutality and inequality...." (read on)