“With great power comes great responsibility.” This popular quote comes with a simple meaning: If you have the ability to do something, make sure that you do it for the good of others. The sports world is not a stranger to the Constitution. From when former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused army induction and spoke out against the draft of civilians to fight in the Vietnam War to Colin Kaepernick deciding to indefinitely kneel and refusing to stand for the national anthem, athletes have been exercising their First Amendment right of freedom of expression as citizens of the United States of America to bring attention to injustices. More recently, the players of the National Basketball Association (NBA) are, with their solidarity, speaking out towards the recent turmoil the United States of America is facing. In the bubble at Orlando, isolated from everyone else, these players are using their platforms as superstars and role models to send messages about social and racial injustices. They are amplifying the message that changes need to happen.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on September 29, 2020. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Wang, Victor, "The Dance Between the NBA Players and Their First Amendment Rights" (2020). AELJ Blog. 245.