In light of recent events, there have been many attempts to change certain operations to cater towards a more inclusive world.Â Within schools and businesses and even neighborhoods with “Justice NowÂ” yard signs, this is a major topic.Â The changes being made have to deal with police brutality and systemic racism.Â With changes across the board, how will professional sports handle this?
The NFL, which has perhaps had the most attention in this area because of players kneeling during the national anthem, is planning on making a change to the pregame routine.Â During Week 1, the league has opted to play both Â“Lift EvÂ’ry Voice and Sing,Â” as well as Â“The Star-Spangled BannerÂ” before the games.Â The former is often referred to as the Black national anthem.Â To go along with this, the league Â“is also considering listing the names of victims on uniforms through decals on helmets or patches on jerseys. The NFL also may produce educational programs about victims, among other plansÂ” (Reid).Â Over the next decade, the NFL plans to donate $250 million to social justice related work as well.Â Â
NBA and Collegiate Changes
To go along with the NFLÂ’s potential use of patches, the NBA and a Power Five college football team are also going to incorporate jersey patches.Â The NBA has decided to include social justice patches on team uniforms when play resumes later this month.Â The NBA and the playersÂ’ union said back in late June that Â“the goal of the season restart in Orlando will be to take collective action to combat systemic racism and promote social justiceÂ” (Greif).Â To go along with this, the Wisconsin football team will wear a patch with the schoolÂ’s W logo in black on their jerseys.Â Â
This has also sparked changes to team names as well.Â Washington D.C.Â’s football team, formerly the Washington Redskins, has announced that they will be changing their team name.Â The MLBÂ’s Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves could be next for new names as well.Â Some collegiate teams could also potentially change their names.Â
A lot in the country will likely change soon and sports are no exception.Â These decisions have created different reactions as well, from support to outrage.Â It will be interesting to see what overall changes are made to all major sports leagues.Â Â
Bevington, Max. Â“Wisconsin to Wear Patches on Uniforms for Unity, Inclusion.Â” FanSided, FanSided, 15 July 2020, fansided.com/2020/07/15/wisconsin-wear-patches-uniforms-unity-inclusion/.
Greif, Andrew. Â“NBA and Playersâ€™ Union Agree on Social Justice Plan.Â” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2020, www.latimes.com/sports/story/2020-06-24/nba-players-union-agree-on-social-justice-plan.
Reid, Jason. Â“Source: NFL Plans to Play Black National Anthem before Week 1 Games.Â” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 2 July 2020, www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/29401000/nfl-plans-play-black-national-anthem-week-1-games.