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Racial activism in American professional sports

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Racial activism has been found in many of professional sports leagues such as the National Basketball Association and the National Football League.

National Basketball Association

Following the emergence of the Trayvon Martin case, NBA players including LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and other Miami Heat players at the time posed for a picture in hoodies, the outfit that Trayvon Martin was wearing when murdered. In December 2014, Lebron James and other Cleveland Cavaliers including Kyrie Irving wore black t-shirts featuring the quote "I CANT BREATHE" following the death of Eric Garner who was put in a choke hold by a New York police officer. Since then, Lebron James has been in public disputes Via Twitter and Instagram, shaming Donald Trump and news analyst Laura Ingraham who openly told LeBron James to "shut up and dribble", suggesting that Lebron is only good for his athletic abilities. Lebron then went and turned that slogan "Shut up and dribble" into the Title of his Showtime Series that aired in October of 2018. The show focuses on athletes who are shifting the narrative of what it means to be a black athlete in the sense that nowadays more and more athletes are speaking up on political and racial topics going on in the Unites States.

National Football League

Former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, claimed to be blackballed by all 32 teams following being released for his on the field protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Ads following his release have focused on a simple tagline "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."

Hip Hop artist Jay-Z has transitioned from simply making music to being a businessman. In all his efforts, by far the one that has gained the most attention was deciding to join with the NFL in a partnership. In the partnership, Jay-Z (born Shawn Carter) would focus his effort on developing the experience of attending games as well as serve as a front-runner for the NFL and their social justice efforts. Being a huge supporter Colin’s efforts to protest police brutality against the black people of America, Jay-Z became an intermediary between the NFL and the black community. In this role, Carter would be in the best position to influence change in the NFL. Alongside NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Carter has made efforts to make things right in the relationship between Kaeperknick and the NFL by arranging an work out for the former 49ers QB to showcase his talents to all teams in need of a Quarterback.

Despite being allegedly blacklisted from all NFL teams due to his silent protest in 2016 during the National anthem, Colin Kaeperknick has continued to work out and stay prepared to accept a position as a Quarterback for any team. In 2019, Kaeperknick and the NFL agreed to hold a workout session to showcase Kaepknick’s talents as a competitive Quarterback and potential Superbowl contender. Many disagreements about the transparency of the workout and accusations that Kaeperknick simply wants to manipulate the situation for profit circulate around social media. Kaeperknick remains without a team despite many teams' need for a Quarterback.




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