Athletes Voice Thoughts in Wake of Ferguson

You have had to be living under a rock to not be aware of the ongoing situation going on in Ferguson, Missouri. They controversy has been the most polarizing subject nationwide wide for the past several months, and every person has their own opinion. In wake of the decision to not proceed to court, many were outraged and were not hesitant to voice and demonstrate their thoughts. While common civilians used outlets such as social media and protesting, professional athletes in multiple sports used to their high profile platform to get their message across.

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Multiple St. Louis Rams players come out during introductions showcasing “hands up don’t shoot,” in support of Michael Brown.

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Shortly after the decision was made, NBA superstar LeBron James posted this image to his Instagram page, showing clear distaste of how the cases of both Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin were handled by the U.S. legal system.

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Last week, Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose wear a black t shirt with “I can’t breathe,” printed on it, displaying his thoughts of the Eric Garner situation. Garner, under suspicion of selling single cigarettes, was approached and proceeded to be choked by a police officer, which eventually lead to his death. The event was captured on video by a pedestrian, in which Garner can clearly be heard saying “I can’t breathe” while he was being choked.

It is somewhat refreshing to see athletes using their high platform and ability to reach people in a positive way. Too often do we see them, as well as celebrities of other professions, in the news for things that could not affect people one way or the other. Athletes such as the Rams players, LeBron James, and Derrick Rose are using their spotlight to express their opinions on a subject that needs to be talked about, and its nice to see.

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One Response to Athletes Voice Thoughts in Wake of Ferguson

  1. nhullus says:

    I think that both of these issues are more complex than they have been portrayed in the media. Those with the ability to focus on the more complex issues, understand how these are actually issues of race. I am displeased with many of the reactions coming out of these situations–more aptly, from Ferguson–because any attempts to justify their behavior often are inconclusive.

    Regardless, I think it is important that these figures emerge in this difficult time. This could absolutely have been another case that simply blew over once the decision was reached; a week after the rioting and petitioned settled could have been the end to mention of these events, but it hasn’t been, and it shouldn’t be. There are serious issues that can be found with the action and handling of these circumstances, and rather than move on, these athletes are showing their own displeasure in the only way that they can. It isn’t an issue to move on from, it’s an issue to change, and these athletes are showing a form of courage by standing up for what they believe.

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