The Heritage Strikes Back: Athlete Activism, Black Lives Matter, and the Iconic Fifth Wave of Activism in the (W)NBA Bubble
Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies
On August 26, 2020, the sporting world experienced a monumental return of athlete activism when National Basketball Association (NBA) players executed a boycott of the playoffs as a result of heightened frustration after video evidence of the unjust police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, surfaced on social media on August 23, 2020. NBA players (followed by WNBA players) decided to cease play and enter into discussions with league officials to garner a deal that intertwined the promotion of the Black Lives Matter movement with that of the (W)NBA playoffs; players demanded that the (W)NBA playoffs ground zero for Black Lives Matter promotion and social justice initiatives. As the “fifth wave” of athlete activists stormed the sporting world, their demand for dialogic practices is starkly different than the pioneers of the past, while also aiming to accomplish the general mission of the Heritage—racial equality through athlete activism. This article aims to analyze the new frontier of athlete activism through a Critical Race Theory lens by analyzing the ways in which the implementation of dialogic practices led to one of the most iconic waves of athlete activism in sport history.
athlete activism, Black Lives Matter, Critical Race Theory, dialogical versus monological, ethnicity and race, social justice
A. Lamont Williams. "The Heritage Strikes Back: Athlete Activism, Black Lives Matter, and the Iconic Fifth Wave of Activism in the (W)NBA Bubble" Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies (2022): 266-275. https://doi.org/10.1177/15327086211049718