In Sport, Black Lives Matter Moves From Protest to Action

In 2021, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement marched on, but with a more subdued beat, as sport transitioned from protest to action by enacting some of the changes players helped bring to light.

From tennis courts to soccer pitches and Formula One starting grids, sportspeople brought their protests into the living rooms of sports fans worldwide in 2020, but BLM aimed to make an impact this year outside arenas and stadiums and inside boardrooms.

A female athlete showing her support of the Black Lives Matter movement

If a league or team in North America did not have a diversity and inclusion department last year, the majority will have one by 2021, under pressure from athletes and fans to address social justice issues.

Don Garber, Major League Soccer commissioner, states that they are trying to position the league as a league for the new America. This makes diversity in the central plank in the annual state-of-league address. He also claims that they all should have an awakening of what happened over the few last years and ensure that they are doing their part.

Racial Injustice Is Real

Athletes from all around the world united in 2020 to express their fury against racial injustice, which was sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who gasped for air and cried out for his mother as a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Athletes taking a knee in support of the BLM movement

Floyd’s passing compelled a reckoning with racial injustice and elevated the Black Lives Matter movement, which arose in recent years in response to the deaths of African Americans in police custody. Athletes took a knee or raised fists in significantly lesser numbers and with less frequency this year.

There were, however, no headline-grabbing demonstrations like those made by Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka at the United States Open, when she wore a mask with the name of a different Black American victim of police violence before each of her matches.

Promoting Black Lives Matter

By 2021, the Black Lives Matter message had been ingrained in the game-day experience, with the phrase “End Racism” emblazoned on the backs of NFL football helmets and cleats, as well as on the steering wheels of Formula One cars.

Athletes show their support of the BLM movement by taking a knee

While athlete mental health became the major theme at the Tokyo Olympics, several athletes used their performances on the world’s largest athletic stage to keep the BLM movement up and center.

Women’s soccer players from the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, and New Zealand all took the knee before their opening matches to raise awareness of the need for greater racial equality in sport.

Jeremy Lin Puts NBA Franchises On Notice As He Leaves The Chinese Basketball Association

Jeremy Lin broke basketball fans hearts when he left the NBA for China in 2019. After taking time away, Jeremy Lin is putting NBA franchises on notice as he announces his plans to leave the Chinese Basketball Association.

Shining In China

Following his 2019 championship-winning season with the Raptors, Lin found himself looking for a new NBA franchise. With no one willing to take a gamble on the star, he decided to prove himself in China with the Beijing Ducks. Lin has been proving his doubters wrong throughout his career, so this was nothing new to the point guard.

With a team-high average points of 22.3, Lin showed he is too good for the CBA, especially when adding his 5.6 assists and 5.7 rebounds average to his stats. With Lin shining in China, he was left with a tough choice; does he carry on in Asia or return for another shot at the NBA?

Returning Home

Lin released a statement to the Chinese social media site Weibo, with the point guard saying he had to make the hardest decision of his life. The star admitted that he would wake up in the middle of the night “thinking, thinking, and thinking all the time.” He was thinking about his NBA dreams and how they hadn’t disappeared. Lin won’t be staying in China, and he’s going to chase his dream to play in the NBA once more.


Fans of the NBA will remember Lin’s special 2011-12 Knick season when he took the league by storm. It was dubbed ‘Linsanity,’ and he provided some much-needed excitement for basketball fans in New York at the time. Perhaps he can do it once again.

Jeremy Lin could be a pretty safe option for several NBA franchises next season. He would be a reliable option from the bench, and due to uncertain finances, he wouldn’t be a huge risk for franchises.