The Evolution of Athletes Taking a Stand the Right Way

Professional athletes are often regarded as role models due to their inspiring stories and athletic success. Many athletes are passionate about taking their influence beyond their sport to discuss everyday problems. However, there has been copious discourse on whether these sportsmen and women should use their platforms to voice their support or disapproval of ongoing social and political conflicts.

American social activist and former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been a leader for professional athletes who use their platforms to promote change ever since he knelt in protest of police brutality during the national anthem in 2016.

Prior to Kaepernick’s kneeling, there was not much opposition to athletes being vocal about and bringing awareness to important causes and topics. However, times have changed, and along with it so has the political and social climate of the United States of America.

Social justice has become increasingly addressed by public figures, particularly over the
past couple of years. Kaepernick is one of many athletes who have spoken out and had a
significant impact on the athletic platform, his strides to share his views have encouraged others
to do the same. Now there is a movement of public figures like professional athletes, actors, and musicians, who have taken advantage of their fame to educate and represent their mass following.

Professional athletes are also responsible for researching the causes and organizations they approve or disapprove of before addressing their opinions on them. This is increasingly important as public statements and views are now shared in real time, via social
media, and can have instantaneous impact unlike previous decades. Many social media sources
can also contain misinformation that could be harmful. Athletes should find their resources from good and reputable sources so that they do not show false information on their large platforms. Athletes also must be aware of how their views can create divisions among their fan base or damage their reputation.

It is important for athletes to express their opinions and not ignore national issues in an intellectual, appropriate, and respectful way.