CLEVELAND — Our nation is at a turning point where many are beginning to take a hard look at racism in America.
The death of George Floyd, a Black man killed at the hand of a white Minnesota police officer on May 25, reignited a flame in the fight against not just police brutality, but all forms of racial injustice.
Since that day in May, countless protests and demonstrations have taken place, but many are now asking, "What's next, how do we move forward?"
At the same time, professional sports are returning to work after months off due to COVID-19. However, it's not only social distancing leading to change, but social justice.
Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on WKYC.com, the WKYC app, YouTube, and Facebook Live, 3News' Tiffany Tarpley and Dave 'Dino' DeNatale hosted a conversation about social justice in sports with three special guests:
- Peter John-Baptiste, Vice President of Communications for the Cleveland Browns
- Kevin Clayton, Vice President Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement for the Cleveland Cavaliers
- Jason Lloyd, Editor-in-Chief of The Athletic Cleveland
You can watch the full discussion again in the player below:
The words "Black Lives Matter" are painted on the NBA's courts, while players and coaches wear supportive gear. The WNBA has honored Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police while in her Louisville, Kentucky apartment.
Of course, athletes are no strangers to activism.
During the turbulent era of the 1960s, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title for refusing induction into the United States Army. Olympic runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos were vilified for giving the Black Power salute on the medal platform.
More recently, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ignited a firestorm of controversy for kneeling during the anthem as a protest for injustice.
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But now seems to be a different time. Professional sports leagues have been coming out in support of Black Lives Matter, while more athletes have joined in publicly.
At the same time, the social justice movement is causing sports teams to rethink how they want to present themselves. The NFL's Washington franchise has dropped the nickname "Redskins," while here in Cleveland, the Indians are considering a potential change in their team name.
As we stand a turning point in social justice that could have an impact for generations to come, how is the sports world adjusting? All of these topics were covered in today's panel.