Kyrie Irving got me thinking.
Sports has always been a place of comfort to me. It’s what I run to when times are tough. It’s where I go to when I am stressed. I’ve cried for it. It’s a place to hide from the reality of the world. Which I thought was always a good thing.
Until I realized it wasn’t.
2020 has been a year of awakening. The internal struggle of self or selflessness. It started with the pandemic. When the world stopped. All the attention went to the virus and how we would react to it.
In my mind, it was simple.
Be selfless and protect everyone. We’re all vulnerable. Wear a mask. Keep your distance.
But from the start, the selfishness came in.
People calling the pandemic a hoax. People taking the “If it’s not happening to me, I don’t care,” approach.
Privileged and selfish people stormed the government in Michigan to protest a “stay at home order.”
Millions of people around the world were getting sick. Dying.
A full lack of cares to give from our government, forced us back to work. A survival of the fittest.
Then another act of police brutality happened, resulting in the tragic murder of George Floyd.
People inspiredly stormed the streets supporting the biggest fight this country has: the age long fight of black liberation.
This generation’s civil right’s movement is in full force.
For the first time ever, people are listening. The smallest of changes are starting to happen. This is arguably the most important time in our country’s history.
During all this time, I did think sports could come back and be a comfort, but it shouldn’t. We can’t hide behind sports for the time being. We need to keep the fight. There’s high profiled athletes of all races who have a bigger purpose right now.
The NBA forcing players inside a bubble in Orlando during a global pandemic and a civil rights movement, just doesn’t seem like the best idea.
We can’t just force them to entertain us so we can go back to the reality of racism and police brutality. The ignoring of the systemic racism this country has been founded upon. Enough is enough.
And yes, there is the other side. Players can use their platforms to speak on a big stage, which I hope happens.
However I, and hopefully for all of us, have to realize that we can’t hide behind the comfort level sports gives us. We can’t achieve the goal of what people who are risking their lives protesting for without being uncomfortable.
I would love to be covering my first ever NHL playoffs as a credentialed media member, but at this moment it’s not in the front of my mind right now.
To all my fellow white media members, listen to Kyrie Irving. He’s making a lot of good points.
Black Lives Matter.