The 2018-2019 NBA season has officially begun with the first game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics, as well as another between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors, on Tuesday (Oct. 16). Fans are surely excited about the games but may also be looking forward to seeing what players like LeBron James will do with their activism.
League players have spoken out in recent years about several issues: police brutality, Trump’s travel ban, Colin Kaepernick‘s battle with the NFL and more. If history is any indication, players will likely raise their voices again for the culture this NBA season.
Perhaps James will rock sneakers with empowering messages like the kicks he wore with the word “Equality” last December. James, joined by Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade, could also send another powerful message at the 2019 ESPY Awards next July as they did at this year’s show.
“It’s not about being a role model, it’s not about our responsibility to the tradition of activism,” James said at the ESPY awards in July. “I know tonight we’re honoring Muhammad Ali, the GOAT, but to do his legacy any justice, let’s use this moment as call to action for all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence…”
Here is a look back on some of James and other NBA players’ big moments of activism.