El 2020 can be considered the year in which sports they left the stadiums to become the voice of social causes. The struggle against racism, police brutality and social inequality it was commanded by hundreds of athletes from all over the world who united in a single cry: justice.
The United States was the epicenter of the protests when society rose to demand justice after the deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks and the shooting of Jacob Blake, three African American men who were arrested by the Minneapolis, Atlanta y Wisconsin.
Right away names like LeBron James, Naomi Osaka and Giannis Antetokounmpo commanded the voices that were growing in the sports world taking the demonstrations to the fields and social networks.
A voice that became strong and led to hysterical moments, where the leagues stopped, the games were seen in turns in displays of solidarity and the festivities in moments of protests in favor of Black Lives Matter.
The death of George Floyd in May monopolize social networks when the way in which he was arrested and subjected by the police went viral. Right away, the Lakers star, LeBron James, used his networks to demand justice, signaling it as an act of racism and remembering the movement that started Colin Kaepernick and la NFL one to the back.
With the growth of demonstrations in the streets of the country, several NBA players took the initiative to come out and protest. The Black Lives Matter movement was kept alive in the season reboot in Orlando, thanks to the league allowing teams to protest using phrases on their shirts and kneeling during the national anthem.
The Bucks were the ones who would take the most relevance, first participating in a rally in the streets of Milwakee and then, being the ones they will command the boycott of the NBA after the attack on Jacob Blake.
It was in the August during the first round of playoffs at the Orlando Bubble, when the players of the Bucks decided not to go out to warm up before Game 5 of the series against the Orlando Magic, and after several minutes the game was canceled in protest against police brutality and racism.
“We ask for justice for Jacob Blake and we request that the officers face the consequences. For this to happen, it is imperative that the Wisconsin State Legislature is reborn after months of inactivity and take the necessary steps to hold the police accountable, brutality and criminal justice reforms. “
They will join Naomi Osaka suspending the final of the Cincinnati Open against Victoria Azarenka, two sets of the MLB were canceled along with the MLS and WNBA. Being the largest stop in the history of American sports.
The Japanese tennis player, Naomi Osaka, took on great relevance this year and not because of his title at the US Open, but rather because of his foray into social protests. It was during the NBA Boycott that he took the first big step, by canceling the final against Victoria Azarenka at the Cincinnati Open.
His posture from the George Floyd’s death on social media was overwhelming, He raised his voice in the face of police brutality and carried it as a banner in his participation in the US Open. Naomi announced after her first match that she had brought seven face masks to the tournament. that had the names of the victims of police brutality: Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile y Tamir Rice, people that she herself decided to honor and led to the final where she was crowned.
“It’s quite sad that seven masks are not enough for the number of names… Well, what was the message you received? I feel like the point is to get people to start talking, “he said at the US Open.
Rarely the football takes a stand on social or political issues Due to the rules that FIFA has in place, but with the situation in the rest of the sports, the king could not be left behind. The first league in come back was the Bundesliga in the month of May and with it the voices of justice arrived.
The American midfielder, Weston McKennie, who at that time was still part of Schalke 04, came out with a bracelet on his left arm with the legend ‘Justice for George Floyd’.
To sum it up, Marcus Thuram from the Monchengladbach, who scored a double against Union Berlin, and after celebrating, knelt head down as a show of support in the fight against racism. After these protests, the league mentioned that they will not be sanctioned and that it will allow them within the regulations. Weeks later the teams kneel for one minute prior to the start of the matches as a sign of protest.
The MLS allow his players to kneel prior to the games of the torneo MLS is Back and go out to the warm-up with t-shirts that had social slogan phrases. The Premier League will follow in the footsteps of both tournaments and will give your teams and players the opportunity to take sides in the movement.
Marcelo, at Real Madrid, He was the one who took the step in LaLiga, scoring a goal against Eibar and kneeling as a sign of protest.
Women’s soccer to join hands with the NWSL, which was the first sports tournament to return to the world during the pandemic. The players knelt during the national anthem at the Opening match between the North Carolina Courage and the Portland Thorns.
The last in joining were the United States teams, who in their respective parties came out with shirts with social phrases, while the female cadre knelt during the hymn.
Although the American leagues were the ones that staged the protests, athletes around the world used their platforms to raise awareness of racism, police brutality and inequality.
He Formula 1 multi-champion Lewis Hamilton, He was the one who took the baton in motor racing, wearing a helmet throughout the championship with the legend Black Lives Matter and commanding his companions to kneel during the anthems prior to the races.
In boxing, Salt ‘Canelo’ lvarez He showed his indignation at the death of George Floyd and on consecutive days he posted pictures in favor of the protests. Anthony Joshua, led the movements in England leading him to create various foundations that help people with limited resources.
The NFL, which was in the offseason, changed his discourse of oppression that he had generated during the Colin Kaerpernick era and allowed his players to join social movements, sending a strong message in the voice of Patrick Mahomes and the leaders of the league.
The UFC, despite having a relationship with Donald Trump, had his moments of protest, when the fighter, Devin Clark, knelt with his fist raised during his presentation for the light heavyweight fight, as a show of support for the demonstrations. Months later, the billboard for the May was dedicated in honor of George Floyd.
Another league that took great relevance in the social issue was the WNBA, who dedicated the tournament inside the Orlando Bubble to Breonna Taylor, They wore T-shirts with phrases against racism and stood up to encourage the vote on November 3.