Bushrod On Social Activism In Sports: “Leagues Are Awake Now”

Jermon Bushrod explains why there has been a rise in social activism in the sports world this year

The DA Show
September 02, 2020 - 12:05 pm
Sloane Stephens Black Lives Matter

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In 2016, Colin Kaepernick protested racial injustice and police brutality by taking a knee during the national anthem. He became a lightning rod in the process and was vilified in many parts of the country.

Now, however, numerous athletes, teams, and sports leagues have followed in his footsteps.

Why?

“I think sports leagues all around our country, they’re awake now and they’re on the good side, I guess you could say,” Pro Bowl offensive lineman and Super Bowl champion Jermon Bushrod said on The DA Show. “Players are speaking up. The NFL and the ownership and the teams individually are taking steps in the right direction. We have some great leadership in this NFL family, and the guys are stepping up. They’re letting their voice be heard. The great thing about the leadership is they’re getting their voices out there, but they’re also putting some action behind it. They’re doing some real things for the causes that everyone’s talking about. They’re putting their money where their mouth is, and they’re putting their actions where their mouth is and they’re backing it up that way as well.”

Michael Jordan, for example, donated $100 million to organizations fighting racism. The NBA is donating $300 million over the next decade. And dozens of athletes have made various contributions to various organizations.

“I’m just very encouraged about all the positivity [and] everybody . . . getting out there and [taking action and] doing the things that you’re supposed to do and just giving people a voice,” Bushrod said. “It’s pretty exciting to see.”

But what led to this change of heart? What led to more athletes, teams, and leagues taking action?

“I think life is different. Life is different now,” Bushrod said. “With the events that happened – George Floyd and now recently Jacob Blake – we were in a pandemic and life slowed down for everyone. Three or four years ago, nobody wanted to hear what Kaepernick had to say or didn’t agree with the stance that he took. But now when you sit back and it’s in front of your face and you don’t have work and other things to distract you on a daily basis – not everyone understands, but a lot of people understand now what the real causes were. 

“I just think it has to do with where we are in the world, the fact that life has changed and people are seeing the injustices and things that are going on in the world,” Bushrod continued. “I really think that’s really the difference. You have more time on your hands and you’re able to see more and now you’re able to do more. The term is woke; a lot more people are more woke now and it’s getting the masses involved.”