Sitting down in order to Stand Up: The link between athletes and social issues.

This article is a simple article; addressing complex issues. I’m writing this in the wake of yet another racial incident and how some in the world of sports are using their platform to preach love instead of hate. The ludicrous acts of many during the events in Charlottesville, VA have lined up with the start of the NFL season and several players are using their notoriety in an attempt to create social change and voice their views on bigotry, oppression, and racism.


Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress, via Associated Press

Michael Bennett is one of those players. He and others have followed in Colin Kaepernick’s footsteps in choosing not to stand during the playing of the national anthem. Michael Bennett isn’t sitting to show how much he hates America; in reality it’s quite the opposite. “I just want to see people have the equality that they deserve. And I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message of that”. He goes on to say, “I’m being vulnerable right now,” Bennett said. “There’s a whole bunch of people sitting at home judging me, but they will never get to this point where they can be vulnerable. Let people attack me because they don’t believe what I believe in, but at the end of the day, I’m being vulnerable to show every person that no matter [what] you believe in, keep fighting for it. Keep fighting for equality. Keep fighting for oppressed people. And keep trying to change society.”


Bennett is doing it right; He realizes the unfortunate magnitude of the situation and is using what he has to preach love instead of hate. The cancer that is racism, the disease that is bigotry, the virus that is gender hate needs to stop. I’m sitting on the outside looking in and asking myself, how the fuck are these issues continuously ongoing? I simply don’t understand how or why someone would go out of there way to ridicule someone else for something that they are or believe in. The violent nature of some of the things that have happened in America these last several years mirror a time right after slavery ended. I mean, think about that. It’s 2017 and HUMANS are still hating, hurting, killing others because they are different; what the fuck?

The world of sports is, in a way, a release. We as a society watch professional athletes play a game for a whole bunch of money. We cheer and support. This is the silver lining on some all too often occurrences that happen outside of the sports world. But remember, these professional athletes that many of us can name, explain their stats, know how much they make; they are all HUMANS too. And when someone of their magnitude takes a stand on social injustice, my hope is that everyone listens.

The world is ever changing; I get that. Society has come a long way in certain aspects; I get that. But the fact remains that everyone is different, everyone has different views, everyone has different beliefs; but isn’t that a good thing though? Aren’t we better because we are all different? Michael Bennett believes that we should all accept each others uniqueness; so do I.



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The Huckleberry

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One thought on “Sitting down in order to Stand Up: The link between athletes and social issues.”

  1. The image of innocent citizens being literally and intentionally upended by a vehicle being driven by nothing less than a terrorist reminds me of the images of Twin Tower persons with no options other than to jump from the building. If Michael Bennett wants to sit down, lie down or stand on his head to help, I say go for it.


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