Athletes are constantly told to stick to sports or stay in their lane. Thank god many have the courage to stand up and fight for what they believe in. All people have interests outside of their day-to-day job. Simply because professional athletes have a high-profile career, this shouldn’t disqualify them from having off-field or off-court interests that may align with using their platform to positively impact the community.
On June 17 and June 19 of 2019, Emanuel will be in theatres nationwide. Emanuel is a film about the 2015 mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. According to The Undefeated, the documentary tells the story through the eyes of surviving relatives, journalists, coroners and local officials of how 21-year-old Dylann Roof walked into a Bible study on June 17, 2015 and murdered nine African-Americans.” The film was executive produced by Stephen Curry’s new production company, Unanimous Media along with actress Viola Davis. It was personal to Jeron Smith, Curry’s business partner, as he grew up in the church. However, the silver lining is that some families forgave and recognized that the act of forgiveness provides us all with a measure of hope.
At the end of the film, there was a post-screening talk-back. Curry was asked by the moderator about an athlete’s voice in society, and he didn’t hesitate. “I say athletes in general are educated; people want to hear from us. We have this platform, and if used the right way, we can empower. We have a commissioner who supports us, and we are unafraid and unapologetic and blessed to use it until I don’t have that platform anymore.” What does this show? Athletes can bring our communities through their play on the court or field. They can bring us together through events or documentaries. The more we empower athletes to be themselves and gravitate towards issues important to them, the better off our communities will be as we strive to make the world a better place.