MLS' Black Players for Change, NBPA Release Video to Address Social Justice

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2020

Players, coaches and staff of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets kneel during the national anthem before the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

"We stand because we have to—not because we want to."

That is one of the messages in the joint video the National Basketball Players Association and Major League Soccer's Black Players for Change released on Friday that calls for an end to systemic racism and police brutality:

Marc J. Spears of ESPN noted the project involved NBA players such as Malcolm Brogdon, Jaylen Brown, Andre Iguodala, Jayson Tatum and Austin Rivers as well as MLS BPC members such as Sean Johnson, Darlington Nagbe, Warren Creavalle, Daryl Dike, Marlon Hairston, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Khiry Shelton, Sebastien Ibeagha, Mason Toye and Benji Michel.

The players called for the conversation about much-needed social justice to remain at the forefront leading into the Nov. 3 election.

"We stand with our brothers from Black Players for Change as a reminder that we will not forget about the victims of police brutality and racial injustice and we will not stop fighting for change," NBPA president Chris Paul said in a statement, per Spears. "We urge everyone to fight with us and use their vote to make a difference in this coming election."

Players in both the NBA and MLS have used their platforms to fight for change since both leagues returned from their COVID-19 hiatuses.

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Whether it was displaying messages on the backs of their jerseys, kneeling during the national anthem as a means of protesting systemic racism and police brutality, calling for justice for Breonna Taylor and others during postgame interviews, and even electing not to play in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, players did not hesitate to use their voices.

This is another example of them continuing the fight.