Sports. Unite. Us. All

Brianne Foley
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Well 2020 has taken a turn for the…better?  
Because sports are officially back.  
In North America, it started with the MLS is Back Tournament, that, despite having two teams drop out early on, has maintained a success continuation of play without a massive resurgence of Covid-19. 
And now?  
The Big Four are back in the game.  
With MLB stepping up to the plate to start the season last week and the NBA and NHL starting exhibition games to get back into the swing of it, the world let out a sigh of relief. 
Instead of asking which movie or series to start on Netflix tonight, now the option of turning on the game is there. And what a wonderful, wonderful notion that is.  
There really can be Christmas —or Hanukkah, Ramadan, Pancha Ganapati— in July.  
And Major League Baseball kicked off the official start of a season, by bringing people together.
Through this Covid-19 quarantine, we have seen a pandemic hit, but also the rise of serious human rights violations, and as a nation, continent, and world, we have chosen to act on it.  
And one of the biggest angles from MLB opening weekend had to do with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement.  
While the players within MLB had been less vocal than other sports at the beginning of the 
BLM movement sweeping the nation, they made it abundantly clear which side they stood on.  
Starting with the Yankees and Nationals on Thursday, who jointly held a black piece of cloth and knelt in unison.  
The ripple effect was seen throughout the league in numerous ways through the teams during the National Anthem.
And that’s just the beginning.  
As the NHL started its return-to-play games, players chose to stand in unison with both teams intertwining for the anthem to show their support for the BLM movement. 
In the WNBA, both the New York Liberty and Seattle Storm teams walked off the court and into the change room while the anthem was being played.  
The NBA has had a strong voice on the movement since the murder of George Floyd and continues to hold strong, especially for victims such as Breonna Taylor. 
In fact, the Toronto Raptors have replaced their names on their game jerseys in order to spread the message and support the movement.  
But it goes beyond that.  
These athletes, that share their voices, opinions, and experiences, motivate us to do the same. 
And through their sports, they bring us all together again, especially in a time when we’ve been forced to be apart.  
Think, just for a moment, of the sacrifices these athletes are making.  
Those in the bubbles are leaving behind their families and loved ones.
Those not in bubble leagues are risking the health and safety of their families and themselves, and we’ve seen the repercussions.  
But they are stepping up, to not only bring back the games we love, but to unite us all, as fans, as people, in a time when we need to be united.  
Sports. Unite. Us. All.