Our past remains current. The same battles fought in 1841 are ever present today. We need to face facts, the American system remains broken. Black communities are faced with the same disadvantages we endured over 50 years ago when my brothers John Carlos and Tommie Smith protested in Mexico City at the 1968 Olympics.
Since my protest at the 2019 Pan American Games I decided to speak out against the racial inequality that torments me and communities of color on a daily basis. I was punished for it. A clear message to Blacks in America that we are too familiar with. It is easy for the individuals to say leave personal issues out of sports. That luxury is afforded to those that will never have racial injustices against them affect their day. I wished that Botham Jean was afforded that same choice when he was murdered in his home. Not to mention the countless individuals whose names are added to a growing list. This is my reason for not wavering. I will not shut up and throw. My life encompasses more than just the sport I play. When I walk off the field, I am still a Black woman in America. What does it matter if I win competitions or medals? I can be shot dead due to someone’s fear or misconception of me. So, I stand as I am – an athlete and activist.
We want our people to have access to a life without limitations, fear and oppression. A life that fosters opportunity, equality and genuine support that will echo throughout generations and across all communities.