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    Will Artist And Athlete Protests Actually Impact Social Issues?

    Social issues have always been prevalent throughout history, but over the past few years they have been at the forefront of conversation. One of the big starts in visibility of social injustices came at the unfortunate helm of the murder of Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman back in 2012, where George Zimmerman was found not guilty for the case. After that, the well-known actions of police brutality on unarmed African Americans like Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, and plenty of others have sparked the actions of people creating the Black Lives Matter movement and celebrities like Kendrick Lamar to create an album like To Pimp a Butterfly and Colin Kaepernick to kneel for the national anthem to show importance to Black lives. While these have been effective stands to bring awareness to a big issue in society, none of these have been direct impacts.
    Social Issues-1Recently, Jay-Z turned down an opportunity to perform at Super Bowl LII. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal as people turn down opportunities to perform at events often. Recently, The Weeknd skipped the VMAs and  Adele declined the chance to perform at the Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl. However, Jay-Z turning it down recently came after his public praise of Colin Kaepernick by dedicating “The Story of OJ” to him in a New York show along with the common opinion that he is being blackballed by the NFL owners, which is why he isn’t getting a job.
    Social Issues-2This opinion has been shared by ESPN analysts and rappers alike. Stephen A. Smith was asked if he was being blacklisted, and he said “Without question… he’s definitely being so.” J. Cole addressed the Baltimore Ravens not signing him by stating, “Baltimore, the sht that’s happening here, don’t you think that somebody should risk their whole livelihood and their whole life to talk about this sht? Even if it cost them their money, their job, their life? Don’t that sound like Colin Kaepernick? Don’t that sound like what he doing? And he trying to come to Baltimore, the city that seems to need that sh*t for real.”

    Other athletes, like Steph Curry was asked about Kaepernick and he stated, “He definitely should be in the NFL. If you’ve been around the NFL, the top 64 quarterbacks, and he’s not one of them? Then I don’t know what game I’m watching. Obviously his stance and his peaceful protest when he was playing here kind of shook up the world—and I think for the better.”

    So the fact that someone of Jay-Z’s stature and influence turned down the opportunity, this could be big for the boycotting of organizations and corporations. that don’t do anything against social injustice.

    Social Issues-3We’ve already seen people not only speak out against Trump for his negative impact on discrimination within society, but seeing half of the New England Patriots skip out on meeting him after winning the Super Bowl and the entire Golden State Warriors doing the same after winning the Finals may resonate more than people speaking. It may not be a big deal to Trump as he may not necessarily care about the Patriots or the Warriors, but it could lead to others that have a higher position in his interests, like Jay Z.

    The question is how big of an impact will this potential boycotting of powerful organizations actually have?

    There’s no way to know for sure, because people who genuinely hate other demographics down to the core won’t just change their mind because some people won’t support them, but it’s not a bad idea to try. We saw how powerful the effects of boycotting had on people back in the times of segregation, but it wasn’t the only thing that brought a closer sense of equality between the races. Including more people to help boycott, especially other people in power, can only help improve societal treatment of other demographics.

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