Tag Archives: Athletes who take a stand

US college football reopens as athletes resist: ‘#WeAreUnited’

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium |Wikimedia Commons

By Andy Thompson

(August 6) – Despite a dramatic increase in new COVID-19 cases in July and expectations of another surge in the fall as schools reopen, US colleges and universities are moving forward with plans to operate their college football programs with minimal changes.

It is practically guaranteed that the opening of the 2020 football season and the fall college semester will spark new outbreaks of COVID-19 among players, the general student population and the surrounding communities. The average student is at an even greater risk because, unlike players, they will not have access to the testing or dedicated health resources reserved for athletics. Continue reading

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WNBA players are trying to get a team owner defeated in her election

Before their game on Tuesday, Atlanta Dream players wore shirts backing Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, who is hoping to unseat one of the Dream’s owners, Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, in this fall’s election.

Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler angered a lot of players by opposing the league’s embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement. The Republican is trying to get re-elected to her U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, where the Democratic nominee is a pastor named Dr Raphael G. Warnock. Earlier this week, players from Loeffler’s own Atlanta team, along with others on the Seattle, Chicago and Phoenix franchises, wore “Vote Warnock” t-shirts before their games. Continue reading

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This Day. Jack Johnson demolishes Jim Jeffries and the racist myth of the ‘Great White Hope’

Jack Johnson | United States Library of Congress

On July 3, 1910 one century ago this day in Reno, Nevada, African-American boxer Jack Johnson knocked out the white supremacist Jim Jeffries, triggering a series of racist attacks across the United States; about 20 Blacks died, and hundreds were injured. Johnson holds a seminal position not only in boxing but also in athletics and in the movement for the rights of all. Continue reading

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This Day. Muhammad Ali takes his stand

Pele and Muhammad Ali

On June 20, 1967, the great Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston for refusing induction in the U.S. armed forces.

Ali saw the war in Vietnam as an exercise in genocide. He also used his platform as boxing champion to connect the war abroad with the war at home, saying, “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs?”

For these statements, as much as the act itself, Judge Joe Ingraham handed down the maximum sentence to Cassius Clay (as they insisted upon calling him in court): five-years in a federal penitentiary and a $10,000 fine.

Ali’s refusal to be drafted was an inspiring moment for many of us.

– Dougal MacDonald

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May the change be genuine!

Olympic fencing medallist Race Imboden took a knee in protest during his team’s foil medal ceremony at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on August 9, 2019.

Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, on June 8 in Colorado Springs, announced the creation of an “athlete-led group to challenge the rules and systems in our own organization that create barriers to progress, including your right to protest.” Continue reading

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A fist raised and a knee taken: US gold medalists Gwen Berry and Race Imboden protest racism, social injustice

“Somebody has to talk about the things that are too uncomfortable to talk about. Somebody has to stand for all of the injustices that are going on in America and a president who’s making it worse,” said hammer thrower Gwen Berry

Olympic fencing medallist Race Imboden took a knee in protest during his team’s foil medal ceremony at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on August 9, 2019

American gold medalist fencer Race Imboden took a knee and hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised her fist – as other politically-engaged athletes have done in the past – during the playing of the US national anthem at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, to protest social injustice and to call attention to their country’s racism, mistreatment of immigrants, and ongoing gun violence epidemic. Continue reading

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‘Unapologetic Palestinian’ Oday Aboushi leads by example in the NFL

Oday Aboushi addresses the media at Detroit Lions training camp | Screenshot via detroitlions.com

By MANSUR SHAHEEN

(August 8) – On the surface, Oday Aboushi is just another football player. He stands a towering 6 foot 5 inches and he has the wide, burly, frame that you would expect from an NFL offensive lineman. Aboushi makes it his mission to be more than just another guy who plays football though. Continue reading

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Latest inductees to US Pro Football Hall of Fame condemn injustices

Bailey’s speech came two days after another inductee, former safety Ed Reed, was spotted at the Hall of Fame game wearing a shirt with the faces of nine black Americans killed in recent years, including Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner | JOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES

(August 4) – On Saturday, Champ Bailey, who was one of eight former players and league executives inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, devoted part of his nationally televised speech to urge white Americans to pay attention to the injustices black Americans face.

“We say this to all of our white friends: When we tell you about our fears, please listen,” Bailey said at the enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio. Continue reading

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Vasek Pospisil: Tennis needs change if it wants to restore fairness and transparency

The players are given the bare minimum of what the governing bodies feel will avoid a revolution or an extremely angry group of players, says Canada’s Vasek Pospisil | GLYN KIRK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

By VASEK POSPISIL*

It is a long, difficult trip to the top tier of pro tennis. It requires years of sacrifices from family, a dedication to the sport from an early age and it’s incredibly costly. And yet when players reach the top level, they are still denied some of the perks and advantages that should be incumbent upon reaching that plateau. Changes – specifically a greater share of revenue and a union to advocate for the players’ interest – are needed to restore fairness and transparency. Continue reading

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Peter Sagan calls on riders’ association to take action over Tour de France heat

Peter Sagan on the 16th stage Nimes| Dion Kerckhoffs/CV/BettiniPhoto©2019

“I don’t know why we pay them when they don’t protect us” says green jersey

Stage 16 of the Tour de France was raced in searing heat in the southern city of Nimes, and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) called for action from the CPA (Cyclistes Professionnels Associé), the riders’ association, with the European heatwave set to continue this week. Continue reading

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