9 Athletes Who Used Their Voice For Political & Social Change


Shabazz Napier’s on cloud 1000 right now after leading the UConn Huskies to the teams’s fourth NCAA title this week (his second). There’s a good chance he won’t need to buy anything in the state of Connecticut for the rest of his life, but that’s a very different picture then the one depicted by the senior guard about campus life.

Napier used his national stage to further the discussion on whether college athletes in money generating sports (Men’s Division 1 football and basketball) should be compensated. The NCAA makes over $10.8 billion in TV rights money, but expects the college athletes who perform for millions across the country to remain amateurs. When asked what he thought about student athlete’s unionizing, Napier pointed to the duality of not having money to eat at times but having UConn profit off of his popularity by selling his jersey.

This caught the attention of The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, State Rep. Matthew Lesser and NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Everything wont change in a day, a week or even a year. However, there’s a new conversation and Napier’s open hearted comments brought up new discussions. Here’s a list of other athletes that used there stages for causes they care about.