This weeks readings is something that speaks to the hearts of all of us this year. Through this year our country has been going through change and unrest in hopes of a better future for everyone. In regards to the piece on Muhammad Ali, the three writers points out how Ali’s protest of being drafted wasn’t just because of the war, but a religious and racial protest as well. With the piece on Nike and Kapernick, we see the main focus on policy brutality and social justice for African Americans. I went out and found an older article from NPR that highlights several cases of protest in sports from the then St. Louis Rams doing the hands up don’t shoot gesture while walking out to a game, the protest from the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, to protest throughout college sports, and up to today. These athletes have faced backlash for bringing light something that has been an issue and of promonance in America for a long time. For Ali, he faced jail time and a ban from sports, to Kap who hasn’t seen an NFL field since 2016 and some would say has been blackballed from the league all together. Both have had similar reactions to their protest as both were labeled as “traitors” or “Anti-American” by the country that they loved. Athletes today face similar insults from their fellow Americans today. An example of this is when Lebron James and other fellow NBA players were told to just “shut up and dribble” and “sports and politics don’t mix”. Many of us know that this more than just a political issue and I believe it is very American and patriotic for one to stand up and protest for something they believe in. Protest is what our country was built off of and it is what helped us to get here today. Now, we have seen corporations like Nike come out and support players like Kap, NBA players, and NFL players. It is my hope that many of them want the same change as them and are not just in it for the money. Today we even see companies like EA and its game Madden come out and give Kap another shot as they put him back in the game for the first time in a long time. What these many have faced in regards to their own protest and racing awareness to racial injustice in this country, shouldn’t have happened. Now, we know America has faced growing pains in the past, but it is my hope that we will come out as a better nation on the other side of this. Regardless, of what side you student on, we have to nod our cap (no pun intended) to these men for standing up for what they believe in and throwing away the sport they love, so our country can look itself in the face and see that we need change. A good quote I have heard is, “some things are bigger than sports”.

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