There are a lot of things about sports that need to be fixed. There is sexism, there is exploitation, there is racism, but here are a few instances that give us the hope that positive change might take some time but it will happen.
1. Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka bowing out of the Olympics and a Grand Slam, respectively, to take care of their mental health.
2. People coming in support of Marcus Rashford and other England players who faced racism after the side’s loss in the Euros.
Things did get really ugly after England’s defeat, and this is not to underplay how dangerous and offensive the situation was. However, the overwhelming outpouring of support post those events makes us feel a little hopeful about the future.
3. The Olympics allowing breastfeeding participants to bring their kid(s) along to the competition.
A step in the right direction but this is something that should have happened long ago.
4. Two athletes deciding to share the Olympic gold, becoming the first ones to do so. In the process, they showed that sometimes when you keep competition aside and focus on camaraderie, wonders happen.
The moment when Gianmarco Tamberi and Muta Essa Barshim agreed to share the gold medal after tying in the men’s high jump ❤️ pic.twitter.com/9BLJeo83I0— ESPN (@espn) August 1, 2021
5. Pakistani Hockey fans supporting India and sending their wishes after the team’s semifinal loss.
Best wishes for Team India— wasi🇵🇰 (@iWasiSheikh) August 3, 2021
Go Team Blue!
Love from Pakistan#INDvsBEL pic.twitter.com/jjTaR65cIJ
6. Ben Stokes taking an indefinite break from international cricket to focus on his mental well-being.
Eminent names from the sporting fraternity have voiced their unequivocal support for @benstokes38 after he decided to take an indefinite break from cricket to prioritize mental health 👏 https://t.co/cioSVxXPmM— ICC (@ICC) July 31, 2021
7. Diver Tom Daley speaking about his queer identity and achievements, paving the path for millions of others looking for representation in sports for years.
Not to take away anything from athletes who may belong to the community but weren’t or aren’t able to discuss the topic publicly. It is a very difficult thing to do.
I have so much love and respect for Tom Daley. This speech will reach every corner of the world, including the 70+ countries taking part in the Olympics where LGBTQ+ people are still criminalised. He deserves that medal and so much more 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/9atkGSB1kp— Tom Knight (@TJ_Knight) July 26, 2021
We hope that things become easier for athletes, going forward.