Colin Flowers is a Black senior student-athlete from Gary, Indiana. He is a communication major and a member of the men’s basketball team.
First and foremost, I would like to say, Black lives matter.
The ongoing racial issues in this country are not new. These very same problems have occurred for over 400 years. However, people have done a better job hiding their racial views up until now.
We owe thanks to the social media age that we are currently in for giving us an opportunity to speak, write or post videos about racial injustices and police brutality. Through the good and the bad, this has shown what some people in this country believe about their Black neighbors.
The recent murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have forced this country to take a long overdue look in the mirror.
Police brutality has always been present in the Black community, but the heartbreaking video of George Floyd being murdered by Officer Derek Chauvin was a moment where the country was able to say, “I’ve had enough.” This killing also brought light to the murder of Breonna Taylor who was shot multiple times in her sleep by the Louisville Police Department. The officers have yet to be held accountable for their actions, reminding people that Black lives do matter.
The misconception of Black Lives Matter (BLM) being a political group shows obliviousness to what’s going on in our world today. Human rights are not about politics.
Many professional sports teams have chosen to use their platform to spread awareness of police brutality and racism. This has stirred up recent controversy because people want to keep politics out of sports.
In a sense, people are wanting to forget about racism towards Black people for a couple of hours while they watch these Black athletes entertain us, showing privilege in this country.
Black people cannot pick and choose when and when not to be Black, or when and when not to be targeted. These athletes taking a stand for what’s right is needed, and the people with privilege in this country that want entertainment can wait.
The WNBA and the NBA are the frontrunners in this stride for change, with both leagues boycotting their games after the police shooting of Jacob Black and the shooting of three innocent protestors by Kyle Rittenhouse.
Even college athletics have taken a stand for themselves. The Ole Miss football team and coaching staff chose to protest in their community for racial justice and an end to police brutality.
Duke’s men’s basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, and Roy Williams of North Carolina men’s basketball team, among other college coaches and programs, have been very vocal about the BLM movement.
Non-Black people will never understand what it’s like to be Black. The constant roadblocks and injustices make it more difficult for us to survive and thrive in this world.
At the end of the day, we are simply asking for justice and equality. Considering this is the land of the “free,” having basic human rights that apply to everyone, regardless of skin color, is not too much to ask, protest or boycott for.