Black Lives Matter reaches a wider audience through sports


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Many NFL teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles, added symbols or text to team uniforms in 2020 in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and ending systemic racism.

Sophie Hance, Editor-in-Chief

On a national scale, the Black Lives Matter movement has had many noticeable effects on the world through various mediums. Surprisingly, sports is one of them.
From sports stars speaking out on social media platforms to fields decorated with the words “Black Lives Matter,” the sports industry is helping to bring attention to the topic.
“I think that sports are usually pretty non-political, but with so many different types of people watching sports, it is a huge platform for athletes to get the point across,” said Alana Kay, a senior on the girls’ lacrosse team.
Sports can introduce the topic in a way that seems less intimidating, more inclusive, and more open for conversation.
School sports are capable of doing a similar thing. Students from all walks of life can be seen working as a team and building friendships with each other. This creates comfortability and willingness to indulge in the Black Lives Matter conversation.
However, in the average high school environment, this may be more difficult.
Like most high schools, it takes a little extra effort at Hayes to ensure that everyone is included and given equal opportunities. Because of this effort, some people have noticed an increase in acceptance and conversation throughout the school.
“I’d like to think that everyone is automatically included,” boys’ lacrosse player Bobby Wolf said. “But I’ve been trying my best since I came to Hayes to reach out and make connections with as many people as possible so nobody feels like they’re alone.”

Coaches also play a role in encouraging this conversation. “I feel like more students are more aware of things that are going on which I think is a really good sign,” said Keith Butts, a teacher and football coach at Hayes.
Butts said that this year, he has seen an increase in comfortability in talking about racial issues. “A lot of my players have come up and asked me some questions and I feel like a lot of my players are more comfortable talking to me,” he said.
The Black Lives Matter movement is making changes all over the country and even here in Delaware. The conversation has recently begun to spread to schools and youth sports. However, there is much work to be done and things are constantly changing.
“We come from a predominantly white area and a very white school [and] I think our school does a good job of avoiding racism,” Kay explains, “but the whole point of the BLM movement is to address the issue of structural racism. This same structure can be seen in our school.”