High school athletes can and should use their voices

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Will Schavee

As an athlete, no matter what level they play at, their voices can be heard.

The power of a team has been put on display by countless organizations recently as they show their support for racial justice and fight for equality. The power of the team stems from the power of each member, and as individuals unite, their voice is heard far more effectively. The power of a team is incredibly strong when professionals exercise that power given the platform they have, but the power of a team is incredibly strong no matter what level that team plays at and the platform that team has.
When the Milwaukee Bucks decided they weren’t going to play in protest of racial injustice in response to the shooting of a black man named Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, their voice was echoed and amplified by the voices of all the other teams and sports that followed. A wave of professional athletes showed their support for Black Lives Matter and the fight for racial equality was impossible to ignore. Many people look up to these athletes and want to replicate a lot of who they are and people saw this as they continued the fight for equality and used whatever platform available to make their voices heard. The voice of professional athletes and others in the spotlight reaches further than most but at the same time an individual’s voice, no matter the fame behind that voice, is almost always in need of support. This same idea applies in the case of high school athletes, whether it be kneeling for the national anthem or wearing a shirt that signifies and draws attention to the injustices seen every day in America, people can make their voices heard by uniting and raising up the voices of those around them.
Evidently, high school sports teams are not on the same level as professional teams where they are given the opportunity to promote themselves as people, but lack of publicity should not stop those from showing their support and making it clear that change is needed. A high school athlete that stands against the injustice that they see might not be heard by many, but it should not require a famous person to get the attention of the public, if people are listening to those around them, the problem begins to be solved.

The power of the team stems from the power of each member, and as individuals unite, their voice is heard far more effectively.”

An individual showing support against racial injustice is the first step, the team follows and the voice of the individual is heard by more people, people hear the voice of the team and then they amplify it further. As a predominantly white school, the very least one can do is to stand with those that are seeing these injustices in their own life, and as a human it is common sense to care for those around oneself. In that same vein the fight for equality does not end with race, people should be listening to anyone and everyone around them regardless if famous people are drawing attention to the problem. Many athletes have talked about gender inequality in sports and the wage gap between men and women in their respective sports, advocacy is the first step to improvement and by listening one gives that advocacy a platform to really be heard. When people stop listening the platform for advocacy is gone, listening now and in the future, as soon as someone decides they have heard enough they’ve decided that equality is not worth fighting for anymore.
As an athlete, no matter what level they play at, their voices can be heard. As a team, no matter what level they play at, their voice can be heard. The American voice needs to change and that voice starts with normal people, if those normal people have a platform, no matter how small, they should use that privilege. If they notice someone speaking out against an injustice they should listen to them, they should continue to listen to them and they should support them in whatever ways possible until they see change has happened. Being on a team puts people on a platform for their voice to be heard- although they might not see themselves on the news they can know that they are helping in whatever way they can.