By Nicholas Williams ’21
Starting guards Patrick Chew ’22 and Desi Burrage ’21 have made it a tradition with each other to put their fists up during the national anthem of every basketball game this season.
This idea came from Chew, who knew he wanted to make a statement in high school sports even before the season started.
Over the summer, the NBA had come to the forefront of sports that were using their platforms to fight back against the injustices around the world.
“I wanted to do it because I saw the NBA’s response to everything going on in the world, and I said that if professionals can do it and they are always being critiqued, then we could do it at the high school level,” Chew said.
He then went on to say how a lot of people see the NBA as well as College Basketball stand for justice prior to games, but never at the high school level. He knew immediately that he wanted to be one of the few people doing it at the high school level.
As for Burrage, he saw Chew do it in the first game of the season and knew right then and there that he wanted to be a part of it.
“To bring change you need action, and little things like holding your fist up during the national anthem to remind people who are at the game or watching the stream is our way of bringing power to the people,” said Burrage.
He also talked about how young Brophy’s basketball team was, and as a leader on the team, he wanted to lead by example.
For Chew, the Black Lives Matter movement is more than just life and death.
“To me, Black lives Matter means that Black children are able to get a proper education. It means that we are able to fulfill our dreams, to grow up and know that we can have whatever job we want, just as everybody else,” Chew said.
He also said that the biggest change he wants to see in the community around him is equality within job professions.
“The biggest thing that I feel like is bringing us down, is the lack of people of color in certain job professions. There are many job professions that black people are just not in, and I feel like if we were it would brighten the future of our people.”
He then went on to say how it is inspiring to see someone like Barack Obama being the first black president in U.S history, it makes him hopeful for other job barriers to be broken as well.
When it comes to Black Lives Matter, Burrage feels like he has a different perspective on it than most.
“I think being mixed gives me a different vantage point of what is going on in the world today. I understand both sides of the topic on race, as well as I stand with both sides,” said Burrage.
Senior guard, Michael Crossley ’21, shared his reaction to the actions of his teammates.
“When I first saw my teammates putting up their fists, I was thinking good for them. It makes me happy that they are comfortable using their voices to portray a message that means a lot to them,” Crossley said.
As for sports in general, Crossley thinks it is important for athletes to have their voices heard.
“While sports themselves are played for entertainment and pure competition, the athletes involved in sport are all people at the end of the day. I feel it is important that athletes make their voices heard so that they are playing for something greater than themselves. Striving for a greater good is more important than the outcome of the game,” Crossley said.