NBA and NHL lead sports protests against racial injustice

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Photo: NBC News

Abin Boris, Contributing Writer

The sports world took a pause a couple of weeks ago after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin which led to professional players and coaches in the four major sports to cancel their games to protest against racial injustice.

Blake was shot in the back 7 times by police after they were called for a domestic incident.

The video and news of the situation caused uproar across the country as he became another name added to the long list of black men and women impacted by police brutality in the United States.

With this story making headlines, it was seen by many professional athletes. This story looked to be the last straw for these athletes as they all bound together and decided to not play games as a way to have their voices be heard in this fight against injustice.

John Blashke, a senior at Utica College, understands the decision from these
players were bigger than sports and respects the players for what they decided to do.

“With what is going on in the world I respect what the players did this past week,” Blashke said. “I think it sends the right message to all of the viewers about what is happening in the world today.”

The protests took place in the four major sports. The National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball all participated in the boycotts. With the actions making way through the different leagues, this move was seen by many people, especially the CFO’s of these respective organizations.

The boycotts that took place in these sports sure made their voices heard. The protests that took place within these sports led to boycotts taking place in another sport the next day.

The National Hockey League joined the other sports to take their own stand against racial injustice by canceling their playoff games as well.

Alicia Bingay, a sophomore and an avid hockey fan, loves that the NHL
joined the protests during the week.

“I think them joining the protests was huge for the sports world,” she said. “It shows unity between the leagues and players and sends a strong message to the world.”

The protests in the sports leagues lasted a few days but in those few days, they made sure they got their point across.

The sports world has since continued. The NBA and NHL are in the midst of the playoffs in their bubble cities while the MLB, and MLS are trying their best to continue the regular season during this unprecedented time due to COVID-19.

As all of the athletes and coaches restart their games, plans to use their voice and platform to speak up and keep fighting for what they believe is right.

“This should not be the only time they do this,” Bingay said. “If incidents like Blake keep occurring, they should use their voice to do things like protest again.”


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