America is a sports-focused society. Football has its own day of the week. “Like Mike” is just a phrase in most other countries; here, you immediately think Michael Jordan or Lil Bow Wow. So when star athletes speak, people listen.

Fortunately, athletes who use their platform to make a difference aren’t a rarity. Professional athletes do have a long history of speaking up and protesting during times of crisis, including the civil rights movement and cases of police brutality. It’s a tradition that should continue as long as there are oppressed people seeking voices to stand up for them. Check out a few examples in 6 Athletes Who Have Also Been Social Activists.