Athletes deserve to use platform for philanthrophy, advocation


A poll taken out of 155 people on whether athletes should speak out on social issues, political issues, both, or neither.

Almost every professional sports season has become marked by social and political conflict between athletes, league commissioners, team owners, and politicians. With prominent public positions, many athletes attempt to use them as a platform for philanthropy projects and advocate for important causes; however, others that believe they should just stick to sports ridicule them. It is unfair to relegate them to silence when they clearly can influence society.

In 2018, Fox News journalist Laura Ingraham told Lebron James to “shut up and dribble” after he criticized comments from the president and corruption in the White House. In 2017, President Trump called Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills an explicit name after he kneeled during the national anthem.

Some athletes, such as Pat Tillman, go above and beyond for their cause. He gave up his job as an NFL safety and eventually his life for his cause when he left the NFL to join the Army after 9/11. He was later killed during service and a bravery award honors his legacy each year.

Athletes mainly use their platforms for philanthropy projects due to the criticism they receive for voicing opinions on almost any other topic.

According to, Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon founded Hoops2O and raised $637,638 along with 11 other pro basketball players, to build wells in Africa. 

The NFL named former Ocean Lakes player Derrick Nnadi the Week 0f NFLPA Community MVP for his partnerships with several Boys and Girls Clubs and the KC Pet Project, he provided shopping sprees for shooting victims and donated Thanksgiving meals to several families.

The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award honors an NFL player each year that shows excellence on and off the field. They start charities, make donations, create youth programs, and work on social justice projects to improve their community.

While athletes mainly focus on their sport, they have the ability to make so much change in the world and should not be deterred by people who think that they should stay in their realm.

Athletes are not just there for entertainment or to only use their money as support for causes. They should be encouraged to use their status to become voices for social and political issues. They hold prominent jobs, obtain largely influential platforms, and deserve to be able to use them for good.