Travyon Martin, Micheal Brown, Eric Garner, these names will always give chills each time they are mentioned. The names release a type of emotion in every American. Words such as innocent, thugs, misunderstood, ignorant, all thoughts that have been expressed over radio, tv, or social media. We allow for all people to express their feelings to these issues for whatever side they take. Athletes are usually on the other end of criticism. An entire business has been built on discussion of players moves on and off the court. But in years past athletes have stayed away from just having a opinion on any real meaningful issue.  Micheal Jordan once famously said the “Republicans buy shoes too” avoiding truly taking a stand on any social issue. Charles Barkley did a Nike commercial saying that he wasn’t a role model.

But this is a new age, players have the ability to stand up for what they think is right.  Last season, after the Don Sterling mixtape came out, the Clippers all showed unity during the playoffs as they faced the Golden State Warriors.

Clippers protest

This, along with pressure from the media forced the hand of commissioner Adam Silver, to ban the shamed owner out of the league for life. A few months later Eric Garner was killed by police in Staten Island. The Cleveland Cavaliers played the Brooklyn Nets a few days later in Brooklyn. Many players decided to wear a “I Can’t Breathe” shirts to show support for Garner. But it meant the most when Lebron James came wore it.

Lebron "I can't breathe shirts

Freddie Gray’s death almost brought a city to it’s knees. People expressing their emotions through peaceful & non-peaceful protest. Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who is from Baltimore, walked in support of it’s citizens.

Melo marches for Baltimore

 

These are just the new civil rights times that we live in, our black leaders just seem to have a ball in their hand. If you add up LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul twitter followers, it would be more people than a small African country. With the 32 million plus followers these men have, they now have the ability to completely bypass the local paper or TV media to get their opinions across to the masses. Social Media has created a way for athletes to express their feelings at any given moment.

Some may argue that athletes are out of place when they speak on these type of issues. To those people who feel that way, look in the mirror, do you see a human being? That is the same thing that these athletes see, they just have a different platform than you or me. They are actually best to take a stand in whatever they want.

King Jut (@KingJut92)