6 pages
Word Count
1514 words
Florida Gulf Coast Unive
Course Code
ENC 1101

Sports And Media

June 6, 2021
Project 2 Final Draft
Using sports as a means of activism is not unprecedented. Numerous instances of
sportspersons protesting have shrouded out history, right from 532 A.D. when chariot racers
protested after requesting Justinian, the emperor, to release two of their colleagues. The emperor's
refusal resulted in a six-week riot that culminated in the deaths of nearly 30,000 people. This
reinforces the idea that sportspersons have a platform they can effectively utilize to bring about
change in society. I mean, look at it this way, before Kaepernick decided to take a knee before
football games, many personalities before him utilized their platform to shed light on social issues.
Renowned boxer Muhammad Ali after refusing conscription into the U.S. Army for the Vietnam
war, was arrested. He had his heavyweight title ripped off in an act of humiliation, but under the
support of fellow African American athletes, especially Alcindor, he beat the case.
The most common example of protest that thrust American racism into the global limelight
occurred in Mexico City during the Olympics. The 200- meter final was marked by victory for the
American team, represented by Tommy Smith and John Carlos, who won gold and silver
respectively. During the awarding ceremony, these two athletes stepped on the podium in black
socks and gloves and, in an act of courage, raised their fists while bowing their heads to protest
racial discrimination. Such instances of successful protests by sports personalities continue to
inspire this new generation, and their voices or actions are further echoes by social media in that
these acts are amplified and made rambunctious. The history of protesting continues with the
recent wave traced back to Kaepernick's taking a knee whenever the national anthem played. This
had an overall effect on the sport, from high school athletes to professional ones joining. The death
of George Floyd at the hands of the police last year saw the movement take a new shape, with the
endorsement from soccer leagues globally. The EPL, for example, required each team's players to
take a knee right before kickoff, and team jerseys were customized to support the Black Lives
Matter movement. The ripple effect of Kaepernick's protest had made me support the idea that
sports are an effective protesting platform.
Sports are indicated to be a vehicle for social change due to their democratization.

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