The ESPY’s became the latest platform for athletes to voice their support for Black Lives Matter in an emotional intro.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, and the protests which have yet to subside nationwide, athletes of all races continue to use their platform to speak out against racism, and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Russell Wilson led the charge on Sunday night, with co-hosts Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe adding their weight in a powerful tribute to open an event celebrating the very best in their field.
Russell Wilson, Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird provide powerful ESPY’s tribute to George Floyd and Black Lives Matter movement.
Wilson spoke to his experience, with Rapinoe and Bird stepping in as allies while revisiting some of the most critical moments in the fight for racial equality, all of which transcended sports. Sticking to sports in this day and age is virtually impossible, even for an award show. ESPN and their partners’ willingness to accept this fact and invite some of the more transcendent voices in athletics and culture to make that point is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
Bird, speaking to sports fans of all backgrounds, perhaps hit the hardest with a quote which ought to register with all of us: “Do black lives matter to you when they’re not throwing touchdowns, grabbing rebounds, serving aces? If that was uncomfortable to hear, good.”
There is no easy conversation, especially in the White community, acknowledging racial inequality. To many, it took a shocking video of an African-American male dying in front of the world to finally get it. The question now is how to channel those emotions into productive actions, supporting brothers and sisters of all races, aimed to at the very least narrow that gap.
Athletes can be part of that solution by adding pressure and emphasizing the discussion. We got a glimpse of just that at the 2020 ESPYs.