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Basketball on Court

The Lakers Win 17th NBA Title, LeBron James Earns Fourth Championship

The Los Angeles Lakers became NBA Champions this weekend after defeating the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Baseball Stadium

MLB Plans To Show Support For ‘Black Lives Matter’ Throughout 2020 Season

Major League Baseball made it’s return this week and it’s putting one of the biggest social justice movements in US history at the forefront of its condensed season. MLB players will be putting the Black Lives Matter movement at center stage as they play for crowdless arenas in the coming weeks. 

Due to Covid-19 concerns, MLB has spent the past few months trying to plan the most effective way to continue with the 2020 season while keeping all employees and players safe. After weeks of deliberation the sporting league was able to finalize plans for the season that’s starting this week. 

The Black Lives Matter “BLM” logo is now accompanying the MLB one on the pitcher’s mound. This Thursday fans at home watched the Washington Nationals Play the Los Angeles Dodgers with the logo freshly painted on the mound for all to see. The Tampa Bay Rays tweeted on Thursday in solidarity with the movement, specifically in relation to the murder of Breonna Taylor. 

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Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants kneel prior to the national anthem before their game at Dodger Stadium on July 23, 2020

“Today is Opening Day, which means it’s a great day to arrest the killers of Breonna Taylor,” the Rays tweeted.

The Boston Red Sox retweeted the message to their 2.1 million followers, prompting a massive wave of support and sharing online from fans. The Nationals, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are just a few of the teams that have pledged to wear ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘United For Change’ patches on their baseball uniforms, which will also feature a new MLB logo that depicts the player as black. 

This will be the first time a new logo such as this will be used on the field, and players couldn’t be more thrilled. The Nationals and Yankee’s even took their uniforms one step further and just wore T-shirts that said “Black Lives Matter” on them during Thursday’s pre-game. During Thursday’s national anthem, all players and coaches kneeled while holding a long black ribbon in unity with one another. The official MLB twitter account posted the photo in solidarity with the movement, causing fans to call on all other major sports leagues to “step it up” in terms of their support for Black Lives Matter. 

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“Today, and every day, we come together as brothers. As equals with the same goal – to level the playing field. To change injustices. Equality is not just a word it’s our right!”

The logos and tweets of support are just small parts of a new policy from MLB. The policy calls on the MLB players, the Players Alliance, and all other staff working within the MLB to enhance initiatives to improve Black representation in baseball both on and off-the-field. The league will also be expanding charitable donations to black owned/run organizations as well as continuing to give black players more of a platform during games. 

The policy also allows players to write messages on their cleats and uniforms in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement; sporting uniforms in general are very sacred and often not written on in general. While baseball is known as one of the first sports to integrate black and white players on the field, they also are aware of the vast history of racism within MLB, and are working to reckon it everyday.

Baseball on Mound

MLB’s Ian Desmond Opts Out Of 2020 Season With Powerful Message On Racial Justice

Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond is opting out of playing the upcoming shortened MLB season amid coronavirus concerns and the national movement for racial justice in America. Desmond recently made a statement on his Instagram in which he detailed how racism has impacted him in his personal life, and within the professional sports world as well. Desmond believes that the MLB needs to have just as much of a confrontation with racism as the rest of the country. 

Desmond has been playing for MLB for 11-years and has been playing for the Rockies for the past three seasons as a part of a $70 million five-year contract. In his Instagram statement, he claimed to be inspired to speak out and use his platform to discuss his experiences with racism after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. In his post, he detailed how much of his life has been shaped by systemic racism. 

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He recalled how in grade school the administration held a meeting for white families to tell them that Desmond and his sister would be enrolling. He then went on to discuss how his high school team often chanted “white power” ahead of games, which brought him into his experiences within MLB. 

“When I reflect on it [MLB career], I find myself seeing those same boxes. The golden rules of baseball — don’t have fun, don’t pimp home runs, don’t play with character. Those are white rules. Don’t do anything fancy. Take it down a notch. Keep it all in the box.”

He recounted hearing multiple racist, homophobic, and sexist jokes in clubhouses and discussed how there are very little black managers and players in MLB; an issue Desmond doesn’t personally believe anyone is actively trying to fix within the industry. 

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Desmond knowingly forgoed his salary by opting out of the season, and MLB has fully supported his decision, as they’ve been fairly back-and-forth about restarting the season in general. Desmond, however, claimed that he will still be spending the season on a baseball field, just with some smaller players. He’ll be working with his hometowns Little League players to get the teams “back on track” for the summer. 

“With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what’s going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now.  Home to answer my older three boys’ questions about Coronavirus and Civil Rights and life. Home to be their Dad.”

Desmond is not alone in opting out of playing the upcoming shortened MLB season, which is projected to resume on July 23rd. Washington Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross recently gave statements through their managers that they wouldn’t be playing, along with Arizona Diamondbacks right-handed pitcher Mike Leake. All players also claimed that family played an obvious major role in their decision. 

As previously mentioned the 2020 MLB season is set to begin on July 23rd or 24th and will last for 60 games.

Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie Irving Among Players Refusing To Play 2020 NBA Season Amid Covid-19 And Social Justice Movements

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is leading a player movement to skip the NBA’s restart of the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic and multiple protests regarding issues of social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement.