Sport

The females athletes challenging injustice

By Steven Poole, CNN

Published 0812 GMT (1612 HKT) April 26, 2021
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Before each match at the US Open 2020, Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka wore a face covering displaying the name of a different Black victim of alleged police or racist violence in the US -- from Breonna Taylor in her first round-match against Misaki Doi to Tamir Rice in the final against Azarenka. Here Osaka displays the name Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old Black man, shot while jogging in Georgia. Al Bello/Getty Images
Wyomia Tyus -- the first sprinter to retain the Olympic 100m title -- wore black shorts throughout the 1968 Olympics in Mexico to show support for Tommie Smith, John Carlos, and the Olympic Project for Human Rights. The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images
In July 2016 -- a month before Colin Kaepernick first drew attention by not standing for the US national anthem -- members of the reigning WNBA champion the Minnesota Lynx protested before a game against the Dallas Wings wearing T-shirts with the words on the front: "Change starts with us. Justice & accountability." On the back were the names Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two Black men killed by police that month, and the phrase "Black Lives Matter." Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, Rebekkah Brunson, and Seimone Augustus are pictured in this photo. David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images
Megan Rapinoe and the World Cup winning US Women's National Team filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation in March 2019, alleging unequal pay for equal work with the men's soccer team. Here Rapinoe celebrates scoring during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Serena Williams -- the 23-time grand slam winning tennis player -- used her platform to bring attention to pay equity and Black maternal death rates, in examples of the nuanced versions of activism from women in sport. Williams is pictured here at the 2019 US Open. Elsa/Getty Images
Wilma Rudolph, the sprinter who became an international star as the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics -- the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay at the 1960 Rome Games -- returned to the US a champion and used her new found platform to advocate for the integration of pools and parks in in her hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee. Rudolph is pictured crossing the finish line in a women's sprint event at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
WNBA team the Connecticut Sun kneel during the National Anthem before the game against the Atlanta Dream in August 2020. The WNBA dedicated the season to Breonna Taylor and the Say Her Name movement -- which raises awareness for Black female victims of police violence. They also collectively backed Raphael Warnock in the Georgia senatorial elections against Republican and WNBA team -- the Atlanta Dream -- owner Kelly Loffler. Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images