The whole world looks up to celebrities. They can belong to any field – movies, music, fashion, sports, or any other. Whatever they do and whatever they say becomes the topic of the day. The fans admire them and try to copy them in whichever way they can. Despite all that, celebrity activism is not considered to be a serious affair. Most think that a celebrity engages in activism to gain publicity. For example, Leonardo DiCaprio is one celeb who takes part in environmental gigs while traveling in private jets too often. However, there are a bunch of celebrities who belong to various walks of life and have stood for things they strongly believe in, risking their lives and careers. Go through the list below.
Sir Don Bradman
Sir Don Bradman. The name is enough for anyone who follows cricket. He enthralled the cricket fans throughout his time as a cricketer and there are many records against his name. When he was working as a cricket administrator, he met John Vorster, the then president of South Africa. That was the time of apartheid. Vorster believed that people of color were inferior to the fair-skinned people and would be a dark spot on the game. Bradman asked him whether Vorster knew about Sir Gary Sobers. After his return to Australia, Bradman decided that Australia will not play against South Africa if the latter doesn’t field a team that doesn’t believe in racism. He soon canceled Australia’s tour of South Africa.
Muhammad Ali is arguably the greatest boxer of all time. He dominated his opponents in the ring. His prowess and achievements as a boxer inspired many in the following generations to take up the sport. Ali was also among those who spoke out against the violation of human rights. He made sure that his voice is heard from every corner of the world. When Ali found out that his name had been drafted during the Vietnam war, he simply refused to accompany the forces. As a repercussion, he was stripped of his heavyweight title belt. Aside from that, Ali was also forced to spend a crucial part of his life behind the bars. His conscience didn’t allow him to shoot the poor people who had done him no wrong. He was such a fierce defender of his opinions that he didn’t even mind losing the prime time of his career.
After police officers allegedly murdered George Floyd, several celebrities hit the streets to protest against police brutality. Among the celebs who spoke out against the violence was John Boyega of Star Wars fame. Boyega was promoted as the face of Star Wars at one point in time. However, as time went by, he began to lose screen time. For many, this was a price that Boyega had to face when he spoke out against the police atrocities, while many believed that internalized racism was the main reason behind the actor’s downfall. Boyega was present on the streets during the protests and he even went ahead and addressed the crowd. He cared the least about his career and stood by what he believed was right.
Hailed as the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin would stay alive in the hearts of the Americans. When she breathed her last, she was even hailed as the best the country ever had. During her lifetime, Franklin was a huge admirer and supporter of Angela Davis. During that time, anyone fighting against the oppression of human rights, black rights, etc. was looked down upon. But Davis cared the least about that and was pretty vocal against the violation. As Franklin was quite vociferous about her support for Davis, her white audience didn’t take it too kindly. That certainly affected her career.
For any Hollywood fan, Paul Newman is a legend. His films as an actor and a director have entertained the fans over the years. Newman still occupies a corner of the hearts of every American and course, the film buffs from all corners of the world. The actor laid his hands on the BAFTAs and the Oscars as well in his acting career. Many of you might not be aware of the fact that he was a consistent activist when the civil rights movement was going on in the USA. He walked side by side with the iconic Martin Luther King back in 1963.
Though celebrities of yesteryear showed immense courage, strength, and character, the recent years have been disappointing. Rarely you will see anyone coming up with this kind of resilience.