RACE RELATIONS | WIU students voice opinion on professional athletes and racial injustice

By KENNEDY WILLIAMS, Sports Director

MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3)- Some Western Illinois University students feel that NBA and WNBA players should be able to speak out about racial injustice. 

Students said professional athletes should use the platform to stand up to the system that many believe has oppressed minorities.

WIU freshman Javary Germany said professional athletes can inspire other people to stand up to racial issues in America. 

“When people who look up to them see them speaking out and standing up for something like change, which we really do need right now, it also motivates other people to wanna step up,” Germany said. 

Sophomore Zach Hardin said professional athletes have a high platform that can reach a lot of people.

“Just because of their higher platform, they reach a large audience and many people look at them, whether it be for inspiration or motivation,” Hardin said. 

Maddi Maher is a sophomore and she said professional athletes should speak out about racial injustice because it is an important topic. 

“ I think NBA players should be able to speak about racial injustice, especially if they’re minorities and people of color because I feel like it is an important topic so they should be able to speak their mind about it,” Maher said. 

Sophomore Robert Murdock said professional athletes should be the first people to speak out against racial injustice.

“Since they’re big stars, they probably have not experienced racial injustice throughout their lives,” Murdock said. “And since they have a bigger picture focus, I feel like they should be the first ones to speak out.”  

Junior Adolfo Mendez said it is important for athletes to set a good example because a lot of kids look up to them. 

“Got a lot of kids looking up to these basketball players, other people that also want to follow in their footsteps, so it is really important for them to set a good example on the people looking up to them,” Mendez said.

Students hope the example of professional athletes stepping up to the plate inspires the younger generation to, in the words of the late Congressman John Lewis,  get in “good trouble.”