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Celebrity Involvement in the BLM Movement

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Following the horrific public murder of Mr. George Floyd by Police officer Derek Chauvin, large factions of the world population stood up to protest in his name, demanding rightful justice. While Floyd’s demise might be the thing that acted as a spark for the flame, the coals had been burning for a long while now; police brutality against black people had been going on for far too long. With a movement of such monumental scales, celebrity involvement was inevitable. A number of famous personalities from various arenas came forward and raised their metaphorical (and sometimes literal) fists in solidarity.

People from the entertainment industry– like Ariana Grande, Drake, Billie Eilish, Gigi Hadid, Cole Sprouse (and a lot more, of course)– used their massive platforms on social media to share information about the movement. This included not only infographics but also donation links for GoFundMe goals benefitting those distraught by the whole chaos–namely the families of the deceased and the peaceful protestors arrested under false charges. They also stepped on the streets to join the protesting crowds in their calls for justice. Irish singer-songwriter Hozier went one step ahead and declared that he’s going to donate all further earnings from his song ‘Jackboot Jump’ to the movement, the song being a callout to police brutality itself.

NBA superstars showed their support by donning jerseys with social justice messages on their backs. These messages included words and phrases like “Black Lives Matter”, “Equality”, “Justice”, “Say Their Names” and ” I Can’t Breathe”. 300 players wore these jerseys, displaying 29 such words of support. In a statement given to the media, officials from the NBA said: “A central goal of our season restart will be to utilize the NBA’s platform to bring attention and sustained action to issues of social injustice, including combating systemic racism, expanding educational and economic opportunities across the Black community.” The phrase “Black Lives Matter” was also printed on basketball courts.

Renowned England tennis player Andy Murray knelt in solidarity before his first match after the George Floyd incident, and so did many others. Sportspersons like Von Miller, Stephen Jackson, Coco Gauff, Udonis Haslem and Chris Conley were seen leading peaceful protests and giving passionate speeches to large audiences.

It is needless to say that celebrity involvement helped this cause by bringing supports from masses who were previously not educated about the direness of the whole situation. Yet, in the grand scheme of things, such gestures of support amount to hardly more than the flap of a butterfly’s wings. It may not fix the deep-rooted issue of systemic racism around the world, but it does count: every little bit counts. It is said that small things can have non-linear impacts on complex system–so would it be wrong to say that a tiny flap of a butterfly’s wings may end up making things better for everyone?

Vrinda Kohli is an eighteen years old Computer Science Engineering student at Manipal University Jaipur. She likes to binge read in her scarce spare time.
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