This has been a historically dark year for the entire world, let alone the United States. We have undergone a virus that has cost countless lives to date. As of late, it has proven to grow at a rapid rate. Unfortunately, I’m not referring to Covid-19. Instead, I’m referring to systematic racism. NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar referred to the virus in his beautifully written article.
The Tipping Point
On May 25th, the United States was faced with the reprehensible murder of George Floyd by four police officers. For a total of eight minutes and 46 seconds, officer Derek Chauvin slowly took the life away of an innocent man. As his life was being taken, three officers appeared to do nothing. Despite your background, it’s clear to see this situation was influenced by the color of Floyd’s skin.
A brief look on social media will show countless athletes coming to the support of George Floyd, and what his death means in the larger scheme. The systematic racism facing minorities has been facing the United States for decades without change, but the tipping point of Floyd’s death has charged worldwide attention.
I Can’t Breathe
The hate crime committed against Floyd wasn’t the first of countless incidents to take place. In July of 2014, the life of Eric Garner was also taken. Both Floyd and Garner referred to the statement of “I can’t breath”.
Michael Jordan, who is widely considered the greatest player in NBA history, posted a lengthy statement of his own. For most who know Jordan’s legacy, he is typically quiet on political matters. However, this was an instance he could not ignore.
While it’s inhumane to promote any type of violence, the fact that we have reached this point does not come as a surprise. For every peaceful protests, there has been influence of violence or vandalism from outsiders. One of the most notorious icons in American history is Martin Luther King Jr, who died in violent manner after remaining peaceful throughout.
We won’t be able to fix the systematic racism in our country overnight, but we can take one step at a time. Justice is a human right, not a privilege. In fact, it’s what the United States is built upon.
At The Athletes Hub, we stand with those fighting against social injustice. In order to create awareness, please consider donating to Brooklyn Bail Fund. The organization is committed to helping those arrested in this week’s protests and is providing support to other bail funds across the country.