Sports crossing boundaries: Athletes becomes Activists
Protests in sports aren’t new at all...from 1968 Summer Olympics to 2017 NFL player protest history unveils many protest by athletes for a social cause. Let’s take a look through the history where athletes becomes activists…
1968, Summer Olympics witnessed racial protest by U.S athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their glove hands skywards as an action of protest during National Anthem, the most historic protest ever. It is popularly known as “The Black Power Salute”.
In 1971, Muhammad Ali gives a black salute before entering into Madison Square to fight against Oscar Bonavena in New York City.In 1972 Summer Olympics, Vincent Mathews and Wayne Collet expressed their protest by standing barefoot, hands on hip when U.S National Anthem was playing.
Billie Jean King’s “The Battle of Sexes” is nevertheless another significant movement in the history of sports, where she and eight other female tennis players formed their own tennis tour as a protest against un-equal prize money for men and women.
Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers forward wears “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt before the game, harshly points out racial discrimination back in 2014.
Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are the recent sensational names we are exposed to, In september 12, 2016 ..the 49ers kneels in protest during the national anthem. After the incident a wave of other NFL players followed Kaepernick’s action.
These are the instances which depicts the fact that sports can cross boundaries, sports is not bounded only as medium of entertainment but a strong territory to stand for a social cause.