Around the NBA and WNBA, players have always advocated for justice and equality. Brands like Nike, Adidas, and others celebrate Black History Month, Martin King Day, and other holidays that celebrate black culture and how we have molded this country. We always shed light and celebrate the athletes that paved the way for us today such as Jackie Robinson, Jessie Owens, Cheryl Miller, Arthur Ashe, and Bill Russell. Athletes today are still out fighting the good fight and giving a voice to those that feel they may not have one. Natasha Cloud, Liz Cambage, Lebron James, Demar Derozan, Stephan Jackson, and many more have all been on the front lines fighting for equality.
During the NBA and WNBA season, many pay homage that those that have come before them and bless the court with sneakers that speak louder, at times, then words. Giving messages that are seen by millions and, showing, no matter the status, that will all most stand together behind certain issues and stand as one. The “I Can’t Breathe” campaign was pivotal in 2014 showing that the NBA stars we know and love were right there with us during these trying times.
In 2017, members of the Minnesota Lynx came together for a pregame press conference and wore shirts that read, “Change Start With Us: Justice and Accountability”. Following this, members of the New York Liberty wore black t-shirts with #blacklivesmatter printed on them during warmups.
We have seen players in sneakers that advocate for equality and celebrates a culture that is a way of life. The Lebron 16 “Equality” is a mixed match set of black and white sneakers dubbed with a golden Equality written on the back. The Kyrie 4 “Equality” was a head-turner on the court in a slick white upper with the word Equality all over the shoe. James Harden paid homage to the tennis great Arthur Ashe with the Harden 1 “Arthur Ashe” worn in 2017 and the list goes on and on.
These players are showing us that our voices are heard and they are here for us. Standing with us and helping fight the good fight.