Charles Barkley once proclaimed that he ‘ain’t no role model‘ and based on some of his recent commentary on the Mike Brown murder, he’s probably right… But whether or not they see themselves as role models, and whether or not they should be seen as such, the fact remains that athletes, just by being in the public eye, have influence. Thus it’s meaningful when a group of athletes show solidarity for a social cause. The added visibility helps advance said cause and while there will always be naysayers who scoff at the notion that athlete opinions on political and/or social issues matter, there will also always be groups who are influenced by those athletes. It won’t always work out that way, but if your favorite ballplayer believes in something, you may actually entertain it yourself, and explore it. That possibility, whatever your stance on it and when placed in the context of the vast number of sports fans around the world, is both important and impactful. Simply put, it’s worth it.
In my opinion it’s fantastic when Kobe, Lebron, and D-Rose wear the “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts during warm-ups. It’s great when the St. Louis
Rams run onto the field with their hands up. And likewise, it’s deplorable when Mike Ditka condemns that show of support. In these watershed times where police brutality, justifiable murders, race, the presumption of innocence and guilt, Civil Rights, and White Privilege are at the forefront of our national consciousness, we at JP Lime Productions would like to take a moment to give props to these athletes for not being afraid to use their celebrity to support and grow these social movements. Yes, it’s more important for our politicians, law makers, and law enforcement leads to support and advance these causes, we get that. But let’s not sh!t on the ballplayers when they chime in, especially when they do so knowing that they’ll face a good deal of criticism. As stated above, it’s important, impactful, and worth it. We appreciate and applaud their gestures.