Over the summer, Adjunct Professor of English Larry Atkins published three op-eds about the pandemic and recent social justice movements.
On June 25, Atkins discussed President Trump’s aversion to wearing a mask and his strategy to change in an op-ed in the New York Daily News, where he wrote, “getting Trump and his supporters to wear a mask would be a win for everyone. Liberals, Democrats and people who believe in science would be protected from infection. Trump supporters would express their love for their hero. Trump would get the adulation he craves.”
Atkins discussed the dangers of live sporting events within a pandemic in a July 27 SportsBusinessDaily.com op-ed. Atkins argues that seeing sports in-person is an unnecessary risk, writing, “right now, we're only in the first inning or first quarter of this struggle against the virus. We have to adapt to this new reality. Watching sports without fans should be a part of this new reality.”
Then on Aug. 22, Akins published an op-ed with Real Clear Politics, which looked at current racial tensions and the decisions of many athletes to use the positions to advocate for social change. He argues that athletes have fought for social justice throughout history and it is just as important for them to speak out on what they believe in. He wrote:
“During the 1990s, many people criticized athletes who didn’t speak out on social issues for fear of being controversial. Now, many professional athletes have found their voice and are speaking out for social justice, especially through social media. They want to use their fame and platforms to promote causes they believe in. In the next few months, their voices will be needed more than ever. This is a trend that should be celebrated as a slam dunk.”