A USA Today article claims that activist athletes – particularly black activist athletes – are nowhere near ramping down their political activism. In fact, the article claims that activism “is just in its beginning stages.”
USA Today’s Chris Bumbaca penned a Feb. 24 piece entitled, ‘There’s a lot more to come:’ After Record Turnout in 2020 Elections, Activism from Black Athletes is Only Beginning. In it, Bumbaca claimed that black activism is only going to increase in the coming years.
Bumbaca began his article by noting that LeBron James inserted himself into the Georgia runoff elections in January and afterward posted a tweet claiming that “Black voter suppression” was a feature of the elections.
James has also claimed that despite having a friendly president in Joe Biden, that doesn’t change his need to continue pushing the More Than A Vote organization that he started ahead of the 2020 elections.
Bumbaca went on to list many of the activist groups and events that athletes have participated in over the last few seasons.
The article noted that the WNBA organized to destroy the political career of team co-owner Kelly Loeffler, who was also a U.S. Senator until losing her seat to known anti-Semite Raphael Warnock in January. Bumbaca pointed out the many NBA players who spoke out in favor of Jacob Blake after his shooting in Wisconsin last year. He also listed Lewis Hamilton, the Formula 1 driver who wore a t-shirt calling for the arrest of the Kentucky police officers involved in the Breonna Taylor incident.
“This is only the beginning, and experts say coalition-building is key,” Bumbaca wrote. “By marching in the street and using their voices, athletes helped make racial justice a majoritarian issue,” he added.
Bumbaca’s article comes after nearly five years of heightened athlete activism that has coincided with declining ratings for all pro sports during the same time period.
Ever since former NBA second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick began to protest against America by taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016, athlete activism has exploded across all pro sports.
The year 2020 was particularly bad for pro sports T.V. ratings and revenue, the coronavirus notwithstanding,
T.V. viewership was off an average of 50 percent over last year’s numbers. Even though many Americans were stuck at home as their jobs and cities shut down over the overreaction to the coronavirus, T.V. viewership for sports still cratered. And this was after months of sports reporters telling everyone who would listen that the nation “hungered” for sports and “needed” sports as a release.
As Breitbart Sports reported in December, one of golf’s big games, the U.S. Open, lost 56 percent of its viewers over 2019. Basketball suffered greatly, as well. The NBA finals were down 49 percent over last year. Tennis’ Open also cratered, losing 45 percent over 2019’s games. But the worst of all was Hockey’s Stanley Cup. The NHL’s big game lost a whopping sixty percent over the 2019 championship series.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook Warner.Todd.Huston.