On Thursday, the third annual Spirit Day was celebrated nationwide. Among the millions that participated in this event were professional sports leagues, which was an ingenious idea.
According to glad.org, high school student Brittany McMillan decided to start Spirit Day in 2010 “as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives.” The idea has spread rapidly nationwide people and organizations participate in the event by wearing purple, “as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying.”
Many people are going to disagree with professional sports leagues and teams being involved in the event because they are participating in an event that is widely considered to be controversial. Those people do not realize that the professional sports organizations’ jobs are not only to provide great entertainment for the fans through athletic events, but also to be a great role model to the community.
Millions of children imitate their favorite athletes on a daily basis.
An example of this is during the 2012 NBA Finals when ABC showed Miami Heat forward LeBron James reading books in the locker room prior to the games. This led to numerous reports of kids reading the same books in order to act like him, including “The Hunger Games.”
It is not a surprise that players imitate their favorite athletes, whether it is negative or positive. There were probably people who participated in Spirit Day because the sports leagues, and most likely many athletes were participating in it.
The players and sports leagues were showing their support behind a huge issue, LGBT bullying. Among the main athletes involved were NBA free agent Jason Collins, the first male athlete that is opening gay, and Pheonix Mercury center Brittany Griner.
Many people were probably shocked that this issue is so big that it needs a special day. However, as the internet provides an easy platform for bullying to take place, it is critical for athletes and teams to be involved in this critical issue. Many people will not look for their parents, teacher or friends to guidance, but instead they look to celebrities and their favorite athletes.
If the professional sports leagues did not partake in this event, then numerous people would think that it is not a huge issue. They did the right thing by showing their support for this event because it shows that they believe no circumstance merits a person to be a bullying victim.