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History has its eyes on you

General

As the musical version of Alexander Hamilton said (by way of Lin-Manuel Miranda, because yes, we’re obsessed), “This is not a moment; it’s a movement.” And he was totally right. Ongoing protests and calls for equality and diversity are leading to great change in the sports world.

July 06, 2020
DAN ISTITENE/POOL VIA AP
DAN ISTITENE/POOL VIA AP

The GIST: As the musical version of Alexander Hamilton said (by way of Lin-Manuel Miranda, because yes, we’re obsessed), “This is not a moment; it’s a movement.” And he was totally right. Ongoing protests and calls for equality and diversity are leading to great change in the sports world.

What’s changing?: Terribly offensive team names, for one. The Washington NFL team is finally looking to change their name, with team owner Dan Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera working to have a new name and brand before the start of the season.

Seriously. What else is going on?: This weekend wasn’t just about Alexander Hamilton; it was about Lewis Hamilton, too. Six-time Formula One (F1) World Champion Hamilton is the first and only Black driver in F1 history, and he’s been calling on his sport to support the movement to end racism.

  • In response, F1 adopted a new initiative, #WeRaceAsOne, which mandates inclusion and equality in the sport, and at this weekend’s Grand Prix in Austria the message was loud and clear. F1 has also pledged 1 million euros to improving diversity in motorsport.
     
  • Ahead of yesterday’s wild first race of the season (which was postponed from March), all 20 drivers gathered at the start line, wearing “End Racism” shirts (while Hamilton himself wore a “Black Lives Matter” shirt) and took a moment of silence. Fourteen of the drivers also took a knee.

Awesome. What about the majors?: For the upcoming season restart, the NBA has confirmed a list of messages that players can put on their jersey in place of their last name. Among the approved messages are “Black Lives Matter,” “Say Her Name,” “How Many More” and “Listen To Us.”

  • And the NFL announced they will play “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Black national anthem, alongside “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the first week of regular season games.
  • Not everyone is stoked about this one though, with Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry asking, “Can someone please explain to me how this solves anything???” While this one may miss the mark, we’re all for these positive changes.