Professional athletes have shown their support of the victims who suffered from police brutality or racial injustice. In February of 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot in Georgia while jogging in a neighborhood. His killing sparked debates across the country regarding racial equality.
Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker was related to Arbery, and he plans to honor his cousin this upcoming football season.
Professional athletes taking a stand and making sure their voices are heard
Athletes from different sports have joined the conversations regarding racial equality, police brutality, and the importance of voting. Whether they have joined in on protests, took a kneel during the national anthem, or continue to talk about issues during interviews, athletes have found a way to use their platform.
Professional athletes have a right to voice their concerns and opinions, just like everyone else. Their job is not to solely focus on the sport that they play. Athletes like LeBron James and Patrick Mahomes have a large fan base, and many people look up to them and respect them. When these athletes speak on issues that have occurred, it lets other people know that they are paying attention to what’s going on in the world and want something to be done. Different professional leagues have shown support, whether displaying a Black Lives Matter logo on the court or a field.
As long as these issues continuing to go on across the world, people will continue to make their voices heard, and athletes will continue to address the issues for as long as it takes.
The relationship between Tracy Walker and Ahmaud Arbery
Walker is a native of Brunswick, Georgia, and he and Arbery grew up together and played high school football together. In an ESPN article, Walker talked about how his cousin’s death is creating change throughout the world. “It has opened a lot of eyes; and things that’s been going on for decades, it’s just been getting overlooked,” Walker said. “So, like I said, the great thing about it all is that change is coming about. That’s the biggest blessing of it all, that we’re accepting change and everybody is looking forward to the change. That’s the main key, just continuing to try and promote that.”
According to the article, Walker had a conversation with Arbery a few weeks before his death, and Arbery told Walker to keep working hard on the football field. Walker would spend hours in Arbery’s driveway playing basketball, and they enjoyed playing video games as well. The two had a close relationship, and Walker wants to do whatever he can to honor his cousin.
What Tracy Walker plans to do this upcoming season
Walker was thinking about different ways to honor his cousin this upcoming NFL season for months. He finally decided on a way he can do that. Walker said that he plans to wear the name of Arbery on the back of his helmet. “It’s definitely a blessing for me to be able to that and for the NFL to accept me to be able to speak out in that manner, especially with the whole [Colin] Kaepernick situation that went down,” Walker said in an ESPN article.
Walker is also working on printing T-shirts with Arbery’s face that he can wear underneath his jersey during games. He believes that he needs to be more vocal and be more open about the situation that happened with his cousin. “It’s a hell of a situation. It’s a tough situation,” Walker said. “But, you know, you control what you can control, so I feel like that’s the best way I can control what I can do right now and I could use my voice and my platform in that aspect.”
This upcoming NFL season, players like Walker will have the opportunity to use their platform to speak out on the many issues surrounding the country. One thing Walker will do is continue to keep his cousin in his heart and play for him.