Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sent a letter to Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward LeBron James thanking him for his efforts protesting systemic racism and social injustice.
During the 2016 NFL season, Kaepernick either sat or kneeled during the national anthem in silent protest. Other athletes have followed Kaepernick's lead in recent years, including U.S. national women's soccer team captain Megan Rapinoe, James, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace and a host of others.
Those voices have only gotten louder and more impactful this year amid worldwide social justice protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man killed after a Minneapolis policeman, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes to detain Floyd while he laid prone on the street on Memorial Day.
The deaths of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and many other Black people who have been killed by police have also led to continued protests. On the NBA side, players have knelt before games and played on courts with a "Black Lives Matter" logo at half court, in addition to other actions to create tangible change:
The NBA recently took a three-day pause in protest of social injustice and the police killing of Jacob Blake. The league will return to the court Saturday, resuming the first round of the 2020 postseason.