Paul Frymer and Jake Grumbach's essay in Vox, The NBA strike is a big moment for athlete activism — and the labor movement in America, showed the power of athlete activism and striking for social movements, and labor's potential to drive fundamental change.
Paul Frymer is professor of politics at Princeton University and a CSDP faculty associate, and Jacob Grumbach is assistant professor of political science at the University of Washington and was a 2019-2020 CSDP fellow.
Unionized workers are part of organizations that are designed to promote solidarity, mobilize collectively, and protect their workers from employer threats of coercion. Recent research has shown how unions mobilize workers to vote, learn about politics, and even reduce their feelings of racial resentment. The close linkages between these unionized athletes, political protest, and the growing social movement around Black Lives Matter remind us of the importance that labor unions offer for progressive politics and the future growth of the Democratic Party.