This year hasn’t been an easy road for anyone in America, especially African Americans. Between the unexpected passing of civil rights activist John Lewis and C.T. Vivian, Black Panther star, Chadwick Boseman and Lakers icon Kobe Bryant, 2020 has been filled with tragedy.
To top it off, there is a global pandemic, in which 7.8 million Americans have been affected by COVID-19 and over 215,000 lives have been lost. Also, there is finally a nationwide acknowledgement of social injustices and police brutality that has been in need of awareness.
Due to recent uprisings across the country involving the shooting of Jacob Blake, the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by law enforcement, people who possess certain platforms such as athletes are acknowledging what has been transpiring in our country.
A great example of showing awareness of social injustices came from the NBA Finals series that aired on ABC News Network from Sept. 30 to Oct. 11., between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.
Both teams acknowledged how there is an issue in America that needs to change. Head coach Eric Spoelstra and the Heat wore a button that stated “Social Injustice No More,” indicating inequality is not admired in their organization.
A few players also acknowledged that racial inequality is unfair & change will occur. “It’s a continuous fight,” Lakers point guard Alex Caruso said. Caruso and other white athletes made it clear that they stand with fighting against systemic racism.
Many players were given the option to have statements on the back of their jerseys that showed how they felt about what is occurring. Some statements said “Vote,” “Black Lives Matter,” or the names of victims of police brutality.
Both teams decided to continue their season to play for a championship. These two organizations found a way to use their platform and to play basketball.
This is the first time that all of the NBA Finals games were played in the same arena (only due to the precautions of COVID-19). However, the result of the LA Lakers winning the series would be remembered forever.
Nine months after the death of five-time NBA Champion (which all came with the Lakers) and sports icon Kobe Bean Bryant, this championship is more special to the organization than any before.
“He was a big brother to me and my teammates, so we couldn’t let him down,” Anthony Davis said. This is the first championship that the Lakers Organization has earned since 2010, when Kobe Bryant received Finals MVP.
“I know he is looking down on all of us smiling and proud about what we are fighting for as a unit,” said Lebron James, who is this year’s NBA Finals MVP.