Elina Svitolina's powerful stand on the tennis court, refusing to shake hands with Victoria Azarenka in light of the ongoing war in her home country, resonates deeply with the sentiments expressed in Jay Z and Kanye West's "Murder to Excellence." Due to the murder being inflicted upon her country, and due to the excellence she displayed on the tennis court.
Jay Z rapping "power to the people, when you see me see you" captures the essence of Svitolina's act and its broader significance. Like the song, Svitolina's action speaks to the power of unity, solidarity, and the shared experiences of people. It symbolizes her recognition that her actions represent something greater than herself, and that by standing up for what she believes in, she amplifies the voices and struggles of many. In this way, Svitolina embodies the spirit of the song and serves as a reminder of the collective power we all hold to create change and champion important causes.
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In many ways, athletes become torch bearers of representation, standing up for causes and issues that extend far beyond themselves. They understand the weight of their actions and the impact they have on their fans and communities.
Sport becomes a representation of larger struggles, including ongoing wars and political battles. Elina Svitolina's upset victory over Victoria Azarenka serves as a powerful example of how sports can embody something much more profound than "just a game. "During her on-court interview, Svitolina expressed her joy, describing the victory as the second happiest moment in her life, after giving birth to her daughter.
But there was an additional layer to her emotions. In a gesture loaded with symbolism, Svitolina chose not to shake Azarenka's hand or those of any Russian or Belarusian athletes, citing the ongoing attack on her home country of Ukraine.
This victory speaks volumes about the deeper purpose that drives athletes like Svitolina. For some, representing their country on the world stage is not just about personal achievements or accolades. It is about fighting for something greater, fueled by a sense of pride in being part of a cause that transcends the boundaries of sports, and understanding that they are the most visible representation for an entire country.
Whether it's taking a knee to raise awareness for human rights or making a statement by refusing to shake hands, athletes often find themselves at the forefront of important social and political conversations. They are aware that their actions can empower their fans, giving voice to those who may not have the same platform or opportunity. The pressure they feel comes from knowing that if they don't stand up, who will?
Athletes understand that they carry the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of their communities on their shoulders. They know that their successes and actions can inspire others to dream big and strive for change. It is this sense of responsibility that drives them to use their platform to shed light on important issues, to challenge the status quo, and to fight for a better world. Even if it means putting their careers at risk.
Fans who find solace and empowerment in seeing their sporting heroes champion causes close to their hearts are given hope and a know they are not forgotten. Athletes become beacons of hope, representing the dreams and struggles of their communities, and reminding us all of the power we hold to create change. Actions like this are enough to inspire a generation.
It's why athletes are cited as being so influential, they often put their influence and careers between issues and find themselves struggling with the pressure to "do something" due to the intense admiration of their fans.
It is through their actions that they become true representatives of something much more important than themselves, inspiring us all to stand up and make a difference in our own way.
Everyone is fighting a different battle, and Elina Svitolina's victory reminds us that sometimes the ultimate victory isn't always winning the championship.
You never know who's watching and who you'll inspire so like Jay Z said, Power to the people, when you see me, see you, Murder to Excellence JAY-Z & Kanye West